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/C^ /'^:^^,G,/o 


"T~>r-»T.,.., 1 

FIID 14 1908 



Historical Department 




Harvard college 


(V ^'ifs&v^st^ 












Civ Slmn^iDe l^re^^, CamtnOo^ 








TJu Rwerstde Press^ Cambrtdgey Mass., U.S. A, 
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company. 


The Lectures which are published in this vol- 
ume were delivered in Boston, under the auspices 
of the Lowell Institute, in March, 1885. They 
are now submitted to the public without substan- 
tial alteration. A few appendices are added. 

So much has been written about Napoleon 
that the publication of another book on his life 
and work may. seem to some to require a few 
words of explanation. Let me, then, say, that in 
the sketch which I have given of Napoleon's 
foreign and domestic policy, I have chiefly pro- 
posed to point out what I conceive to have been 
the real nature of the contest in which he played 
so prominent a part, and the actual political 
capacity at that time of the peoples over whom 
he ruled or whose institutions he shaped. I 
have not undertaken to write a new history, but 
simply to indicate the lines upon which a new 
history might be written. The task of rectify- 
ing the fundamental notions with which nearly 
all historians have approached the study of the 
epoch of Napoleon is the task which I proposed 
to myself. 


I have, therefore, endeavored to point out 
clearly the distinction between the extension of 
personal liberty, the removal of abuses, the abo- 
lition of privileges and disabilities, and the like 
legal and social changes, on the one hand, and 
the acquisition and enjoyment of political power 
by the people, on the other. These results are 
very often confounded, but they are really very 
different things. 

I have also called attention to the fact that, 
where political rights are conferred upon popu- 
lations whose previous political experience has 
in no wise fitted them for the exercise of those 
rights, they will continue, in spite of the most 
advanced constitutions and laws, to be subject 
to somebody or other, as completely as before 
such rights were conferred. 

Accordingly, I have endeavored to show that 
the task of the French Revolution was a very 
different one from what it has been generally 
supposed to be by historians and writers of the 
liberal school. The Revolution undoubtedly did 
abolish the great and crying abuses, and it in- 
troduced important improvements in legislation. 
It gave, in fact, to the populations of the west 
of Europe much better administrative govern- 
ments than any they had ever enjoyed before. 
But, suddenly to transform those populations, 
whether by its convulsions or its enactments, into 
self-governing communities, to confer in a mo- 
ment upon the bourgeois and peasant of the 


continent the political capacity inherited by the 
English freeholder and the American farmer, 
was, in the nature of things, impossible. Once 
let a clear-headed man get hold of this distinc- 
tion, and he will see that very many of the crit- 
icisms which have been levelled at Napoleon's 
government of France and her dependencies are 
entirely misdirected. He will also, I think, be in- 
clined to regard it as a very fair question whether 
Napoleon did not understand the political needs 
and capacities of his generation far better than 
any of his critics. 

The real character of the Napoleonic wars can- 
not be mistaken. It was no soldier's ambition 
that carried the great conqueror from Madrid 
to Moscow. At the bottom of the twenty years' 
strife was the "irrepressible conflict" between 
liberty and equality on the one hand, and privi- 
lege and despotism on the other. What the rul- 
ing classes had always enjoyed they defended by 
the sword; what the people had gained they 
maintained at the point of the bayonet. Add to 
this, that Napoleon saw in the alliance of Russia, 
Austria, and Prussia a menace and a danger to 
the more liberal and progressive civilization of 
western Europe. Much of what he foresaw has 
actually happened. The weight of this alliance 
now presses heavily against France herself. There 
is now no western Germany. That there is now 
an Italy is mainly due to the enlightened sagacity 
of another Napoleon. But the three ^mperdris 


to-day control the affairs of the continent. Na- 
poleon's aim — the establishment of a sort of 
federative union, under the protection of France, 
of the states lying west of the Elbe, the Tyrol, 
and the Adriatic, which should accept the mod- 
ern ideas of equality and 'toleration, and which 
were thenceforth to be free to mould their insti- 
tutions in accordance with the views of an en- 
lightened policy accommodated to the growing 
political capacity of the populations, free from 
the dictation of Berlin, St. Petersburg, or Vienna 
— will never be carried out now. But it was to 
accomplish this end, to bring it about that the 
three great reactionary monarchies should be 
powerless to interfere with or encroach upon the 
progressive states of the West, that French and 
German soldiers fought the Austrian Kaiser at 
Wagram and the Russian Czar at Borodino. 
Opinions may differ as to the desirability of this 
aim, but when it is once clearly conceived as a 
project for the location of the centre of political 
power in the more enlightened western states of 
the continent, the foreign policy of Napoleon — 
so far, that is, as it was initiated by him, and 
not forced upon him — becomes intelligible and 
well worthy the most careful consideration. The 
truth is, that Napoleon was not aiming at the 
conquest of Europe, as has been so often said, 
but at such an adjustment of the balance of 
political power in Europe as would definitively 
relieve the freer and more progressive states of 



the West from the aggressions and the predom- 
inant influence of the three great military mon- 
archies of the East. 

It will be seen that there are many incidents 
in the career of Napoleon to which I have not 
adverted ; many, and some of them, very likely, 
important, events in the history of the times of 
which I have not even spoken. While some of 
these omissions are no doubt accidental, by far 
the greater part are deliberately made. I have 
not attempted to write a history, even an abridged 
history. I have confined myself strictly to pre- 
senting what appear to me to be the more im- 
portant and characteristic features of the period, 
and to pointing out what seems to be their true 
political significance. 

It is hoped that the few military narratives 
and discussions in the following pages will not 
prove unacceptable. Ejiowing the much greater 
familiarity of the general public with the details 
of the campaign of 1815, 1 have thought that a 
somewhat extended examination of it would be 
interesting. Much national, and, of late years, 
political, prejudice has entered into the discussion 
of this subject in Europe, but it would seem that 
it ought to be possible for Americans to arrive 
at an impartial estimate of the credit and blame 
which should attach to the chief actors in that 
famous drama. 

J. G B. 

99 Mount Vernon Street, 
Boston, October 1, 1883. 




Our general knowledge of the Napoleonic epoeh ; and of 

the yarioos yiews about it 1 

Our difficulties in arriying at conclusions ... 1 

State of things in Europe in 1789 2 

Diyine right of kings 2 

Oppressiye priyileges of the f ayored classes ... 3 

Different countries 3 

Russia 3 

Prussia 3 

Austria 3 

France 4 

Italy 4 

Greneral improyement in the preceding century . . 6 

Backwardness of Spain 6 

No such thing as goyemment by the people possible any- 
where 6 

Practical reform, not assertion of rights, the need of the 

times 5 

The American Reyolution a wholly different matter G 
Assertion of the rights of nuin by the French Reyolution- 

ists accompanied by despotic goyemment ... 7 

Cause of this anomaly 8 

The French people did not exercise political rights, but 

gained liberty and equality 9 

The losses of the privileged classes occasioned by the re- 
forms of the Revolution 9 

Their hostility to the new system 10 


Fierce and aggressiye character of the Revolution . 10 
Alarm of the privileged classes throughout Europe . . 11 
" Irrepressible conflict " between the principles of the Rev- 
olution and those underlying existing European society . 11 

War everywhere 11 

The volunteers and regular army of France . . .12 

First appearance of Napoleon Bonaparte .... 12 

His character as a soldier 12 

His studies 12 

His attention to detail 13 

Anecdote 13 

The Siege of Toulon 14 

Appointed general, and serves with the army of Italy 15 

His aversion to cruel measures 15 

His alleged indifference to the evils of war ... 16 

The 9fch of Thermidor, 17d4 18 

Changes in public opinion 18 

The Constitution of 1795 18 

Provisions ensuring continuance of Republican rule . 19 
Revolt of the Sections, 13th Yend^miaire, 1795 . . .19 

Bonaparte's marriage to Madame Beauhamais 20 

Her character 20 

Bonaparte appointed to the command of the Army of Italy 21 

Sketch of the campaigns of 1796 and 1797 .... 23 
Bonaparte's dealings with the Italian states . .25 

Growth of his reputation as a general .... 26 

Augereau, Mass^na, Lannes 28 

The 18th of Fructidor, 1797 29 

Character of the new government 30 

The expedition to Egypt 30 

Nature of the contest in Europe 32 

Illustrated by the revolution in Naples .... 34 

The side of France the side of progress . ... 34 

Suppression of the Parthenopsean Republic ... 36 

Lord Nelson sets aside the capitulation .... 36 

And has Caraccioli hanged 37 

Reverses of the French in Italy and on the sea . . .38 

Unpopularity of the Directory 39 

It is felt to be a mere temporary expedient . ~« .39 

Return of Bonaparte from Egypt 41 



Weakness of the Directory 42 

Popularity of Bonaparte 42 

The 18th of Bnimaire, 1799 43 

The French people of that time unable to gOYem thenio 

selves 43 

What the Beyolution could and what it ooold not aoeom- 

plish 44 

Danger of a return of the Bourbons .... 45 

Necessity of a change in the form of goyeinment • • 45 

The coup <r^t followed by no proscriptions ... 46 

And generally acceptable to all classes .... 46 

The three Consuls 47 

Amnesty to the emigrants 47 

Bonaparte's efforts for peace fail 48 

Return of the French army from Egypt • ... 49 

The war with Austria resumed 49 

Campaign of General Moreau in Crermany • ... 50 

Campaign of the First Consul in Italy .... 51 

His plan 52 

His army 52 

He crosses the Alps 53 

Marches upon Milan 54 

Then turns to seek the Austrians 54 

Difficulties of the Austrian situation .... 55 

Battle of Marengo 56 

Effect of the victory 57 

The campaign discussed : — 

Its completeness of design 57 

Its audacity 58 

Napoleon's peculiar characteristics as a general . . .59 

He frequently takes unjustifiable risks .... 59 
Comparison between him and Moreau . . . .59 

Lanfrey's criticism too severe 60 

Napoleon's fault very common in men of affairs . . 61 

Peace concluded with England and Austria ... 62 
The Jacobins oppose the Consular government . . .63 

But have no following among the people ... 63 

The Royalists ore supported by the British government . 64 


The Infernal Machine of December, 1800 ... 65 

The conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal .... 66 

Character of Georges 66 

His plan is openly to mnrder Bonaparte in the streets . 66 

His devotion to the cause of legitimacy .... 67 
His plan is favored by the Comte d'Artois . . . .67 

And assisted by the British government .... 68 

Strength of the Legitimist prejudice 68 

Citation from Scott's Life of Napoleon .... 69 

Excitement in Paris on the discovery of the plot . . 70 

The Due d'Enghien suspected of complicity with it . 71 

He is arrested at Ettenheim in Baden . ... 72 

And tried by court-martial at Yincennes and shot . 72 

Charges against Bonaparte 72 

General principles applicable to a case of this nature . 73 

The arrest clearly justifiable 74 

The doings of the court-martial .... 75 

Constitution of the court 75 

The original records lost 75 

Savary's statement of the Duke's reply to the court . . 76 

The court really had no option but to condemn him . . 77 

The real question was, Wby was he tried ? ... 78 

Bonaparte's reasons 78 

The Duke's papers seized at Ettenheim . . . .78 

His anxiety about them 79 

Bonaparte examines them 80 

He frames questions out of their contents ... 80 

Probable contents of the papers 81 

Miot de Melito's statements 82 

The Duke's anxiety to see the First Consul . .82 

Responsibility for the promptitude of the execution . 85 

Savary probably not responsible 86 

Bonaparte certainly not 86 

It was most likely a mistake of the Judge Advocate . . 86 

Summary of the case 87 



Suppression of the conspiracy of Greorges . . • • 88 

Reforms of the Consular government .... 89 

Lanfrey's perverse criticisms 8i) 


Cause of Lanfrey's animoBitj against Napoleon 90 

The Code Napoleon 91 

Napoleon's share in this great work .... 91 

Its great utility 93 

The Concordat 94 

Estahlishment of the Empire 96 

Demanded by public opinion 97 

Dilemma of the Republican theorists 97 

The Empire really a change for the better ... 96 
The Peace of Lun^ville and its consequences . . .99 

French influence in Grermany 100 

Its wholesome character 100 

Opposing view of German nationalists . « . • • 100 

Stein and the Euoights of the Empire 101 

FyfPe's objections to French interference examined . 103 

Necessity for these changes in Germany .... 101 
No national feeling then existent in Crermany . • . 105 
The course of the West Grerman States justified . . . 106 
Italy becomes a kingdom ...••• 107 

C auses of the coalition of 1805 . . • • • . 108 

xhe projected inyasion of England 108 

Its probable fate, if it had been attempted • • . .110 

iBattle of Trafalgar 110 

T'ne campaign of 1805 in Germany Ill 

German allies of France Ill 

Capture of Ulm and entry into Vienna .... 112 

The French advance into Moravia 112 

Danger of Napoleon's situation 112 

Hostile demonstration of Prussia 113 

Battle of Austerlitz 114 

Causes of his g^at success on this occasion . . . 115 
A different policy should have been followed by the allies . 116 

Peace of Presbourg 117 

What we should look at in these conflicts .... 118 
The result of the war a benefit to Europe . . . 119 
The Confederation of the Rhine established . . . 120 
Continuance of the war by England .... 121 

Her attitude towards France not unlike her attitude to- 
wards the United States in the late Civil War . . 121 

The policy of Prussia vacillating 123 

The war party finally prevail 124 

Gxeat age of the leading Prussian generals . . 126 


The canvpaign of J^na 126 

Manceuvres prior to the battle 127 

Battles of J^na and Auerstadt 127 

The Emperor rewards Davout 128 

Conquest of Prassia 128 

Battles of Eylau and Friedland 129 

\ of Tilsit 129 



Peace of Tilsit 130 

Establishment of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw . . 130 

And of the Kingdom of Westphalia .... 130 

Its new Constitution 131 

Its characteristic features 131 

Napoleon's letter to Jerome 132 

Napoleon's views of the needs of the western states of 

Europe 133 

His treatment of the Neapolitan Bourbons and of the Span- 
ish Bourbons 135 

His mistaken view of the Spanish people . . 136 

What he tried to do for Spain 137 

Spain rejects the new system 139 

Napoleon inyades and leaves Spain 140 

Austria declares war without provocation . . . 141 

The campaign opens at Abensberg and Eckmlihl . . 142 

Battle of Aspern 143 

Battle of Wagram 145 

Remarks on this battle 149 

The Peace of Vienna 149 

Beneficial changes effected throughout the Empire . . 150 

The continental system 152 

The stability of the Empire dependent on Napoleon's life 152 

The divorce of the Empress Josephine .... 154 

Causes of the continuance of the wars .... 156 
The fundamental difference between the old and the new 

systems 156 

The aggrandizement of the Empire of Napoleon . . 157 

War impending between France and Russia . . • 158 

Its general causes 158 

The Polish question : Russia's plans 159 



Russia hopes to break the power of Napoleon . 

Napoleon hopes to reestablish Poland 162 

His preparations and armies 163 

He crosses the Niemeu 163 

Position of the Russian armies 164 

Napoleon succeeds in separating them .... 165 
But fails in forcing Baiclaj de ToUj to fight alone . . 166 

Operations about Smolensk 167 

Junot's inaction at Valoutina 169 

Napoleon's situation at Smolensk 169 

He determines to advance on Moscow .... 171 

Battle of Borodino 172 

His mistake in not putting in the Guard .... 174 
He arrives at Moeoow 175 


X0600W TO ELBA. 

Condition of the French army at Moscow . . 176 

The city is burnt 177 

Retreat unavoidable 178 

Napoleon's inexcusable delay 180 

Possibility of effecting a safe retreat .... 180 

Activity of the Russian armies 181 

The discipline of the Grand Army impaired . • . 182 

Battle of Malo^aroelawetz 183 

The retreat commenced 184 

Arrival at Smolensk. The cold begins .... 184 

Terrible losses 184 

The different corps retreat separately on Krasnoi . 184 

Battle of Kmsnoi 185 

Heroic conduct of Ney 186 

The weather moderates 186 

Reorganization of the army at Orcha 186 

Mistake of Koutousof 187 

The crossing of the Beresina 188 

Criticism on Napoleon's conduct 189 

The retreat continued to Wilna 191 

Severity of the cold 192 

Napoleon leaves the army 192 

Sir Robert Wilson's opinion of this step .... 192 
Hie army falls back to Kowno and thence into Prussia • 193 


Losses of the campaigii 193 

Partly due to preyentable causes 194 

Sufferings of the Russians 195 

The French army practically dissolved .... 195 
Disgraceful conduct of General Yorck .... 195 

Retreat of the Austrian contingent 198 

Russia gains the Grand Duchy of Warsaw . . . 198 
The Czar aims at the '' Deliyerance of £urope " . . . 198 
The attitude of Prussia and Austria .... 199 
Awakening of the Legitimist party throughout Europe . 202 
Great efforts of France and her allies for the coming cam- 
paign 202 

Prussia joins the coalition 203 

Liberal promises of the allies 203 

They appeal to the sentiment of German nationality . 204 
The real state of the countries forming the French Empire 205 
Napoleon obstinately persists in the Spanish war . . 207 
And in keeping up the continental system . . . 207 

The new Grand Army and its faults 208 

Opening of the campaign of 1813 209 

Battles of Liitzen and Bautzen ...... 210 

Austria exacts terms for her neutrality .... 211 

Napoleon refuses to yield anything ' 211 

His folly in so doing 213 

Austria joins the coalition 214 

Battle of Leipsic 215 

Napoleon's terrible mistake in not concentrating his armies 215 

He refuses reasonable terms of peace 217 

His obstinate and reckless persistence in continuing the 

war 219 

Campaign of 1814 and fall of Paris 219 



State of France in 1814 220 

Unpopularity of Napoleon 221 

But there existed no desire to return to the old regime . 221 
The allies refuse to treat with Napoleon .... 222 

Folly of this course 222 

And of restoring the Bourbons 223 

Napoleon exiled to Elba 224 


Louis XVJJUL. on the throne 225 

His difficulties 226 

Discontent in the army 227 

The Judiciary interfered with •••••. 228 
The fanaticism of the returned emigrants .... 228 

The Constitution of Louis XVIII .229 

It avails the king but little 229 

Hard terms exacted from France 231 

Depression of manufactures 231 

Napoleon not held responsible for these troaUes . • 232 
He leaves Elba and lands near Cannes . . • • 233 

His unopposed march to Paris 234 

League against him of all the European Powars • . . 235 

Folly and injustice of this course 236 

The liberal party in France 237 

They alone are lukewarm 238 

The several courses open to Napoleon 239 

State' of Italy and western Germany .... 241 

Occupation of Belgium by the allies 241 

Armies of Wellington and Blucher 242 

Napoleon's plan of campaign 242 

His army and its chiefs 243 

Napoleon and Davout 244 

SoTilt takes the place of Berthier 246 

Condition of Welling^n's army ••.... 247 

And of that of Blucher 247 

Napoleon crosses the Sambre 248 

Ney and Quatre Bras 249 

The Prussians concentrate on Ligny 260 

Wellington fears that Napoleon will turn his right . . 250 
Concentration of the French at Frasnes and Fleums . . 252 
Napoleon resolves to attack the Prussians . . . 253 

Battle of Ligny 253 

Ney's partial concentration at Frasnes .... 255 
The first corps under d'Erlon march towards Saint Amand 255 

Battle of Quatre Bras 256 

The staff-officer's error 256 

Result of the battle of Quatre Bras 257 

Consequences of d'Erlon's not being engaged . . . 257 
Criticism on Blucher and Wellington 268 




The morning of the 17th of June 261 

No sufficient reconnoissances made . . • • . 261 

Careleeib confidence of Napoleon 262 

He detaches Grouchy in pursuit of BlUcher . . . 263 
The Bertrand order . . . . .263 

The Emperor marches on Quatre Bras, and Grouchy on 

Grembloux 264 

Criticism of the Emperor for not attacking the English at 

Quatre Bras 265 

Bliicher retires on Wayre . 266 

Grouchy's letter of ten p. M. of the 17th .... 266 
Grouchy ascertains that the Prussians have fallen back on 

Wavre 268 

His true course 268 

His delay in starting on the 18th 269 

He declines to march to the sound of the cannon . . 270 
Situation of the two armies at Waterloo .... 271 

Wellington's position 272 

Delay of Napoleon in conmiencing the action . . . 272 

Battle of Waterloo 273 

Attack upon Hougoumont 273 

D'Erlon's attack and its failure 274 

Losses of the English. Death of Ficton .... 274 

The Prussians seen approaching 275 

The sixth corps detached to resist them .... 276 
Inadequate force of infantry in the front . . . 276 

The cavalry put in 276 

Failure of the cavalry attacks 276 

Losses of the English from artillery and skimushem . . 277 

La Haye Sainte taken 278 

Critical condition of Wellington's army .... 278 

The action near Planchenoit 279 

The sixth corps reinforced by a portion of the Guard . . 279 
Napoleon determines to put in the Old Guard against the 

English 280 

Arrival of the Prussians on the English left . . . 281 
A cessation of offensive operations the wiser course . 280 

Attack of the Lnperial Guard and its failure . 28] 


The PnissiaiiB defeat Loban and carry FUmchenoit . 283 

Rout of the French army 283 

Great praise due to Wellington and Bluoher . . . 284 

Review of the campaign 285 

Successes of the French on the 15th and 16th . . 285 

Fatal neglect in not ascertaining the direction of the P^oft- 

sian retreat after Ligny 286 

Napoleon's mistaken oonjectore as to that direction 286 

His delay in starting Grouchy 286 

Grouchy's duty on the 18th 286 

The despatches sent Grouchy 287 

Grouchy rejoins the wreck of the army .... 202 

The situation in Paris after Waterloo 293 

Napoleon's abdication 294 

Efforts of the provisional government to obtain recognition 294 

Convention of Paris 295 

Louis XYIII. resumes the throne ..... 295 

Napoleon exiled to Saint Helena 295 

His life there 296 

His treatment by the English government .... 296 

His commentaries on his wars 297 

Absurd charges against him 298 

His death and funeral 296 

The Bourbons restored 299 

Trial and execution of Ney 299 

Indifference of Wellington 300 

He allows his convention to be violated by the king . 301 

The reaction on the continent 301 

Erroneous view of Napoleon by liberal writers . . 303 

Estimate of Napoleon and his work 304 

Charge of selfishness 306 

His character and his acts 307 



On Napoleon's occasional severities . 

On Napoleon's hold upon his soldiers . • • • 310 



On Mr. Herbert Spencer's employment of the ** Great Man 
Theory of History " in reference to Napoleon . . . 320 


On the Polish question and the Russian war . . . 321 


On Marmont's criticism on Napoleon's tactics in his later 
campaigns 325 


On the numbers engaged and on the losses in the war 
with Eussia 326 

On the Bertrand order 329 


On Ney's employment of the cavalry of the Guard at Wa- 
terloo 338 


On Dr. Edward A. Freeman's continuing to use the name 
''Buonaparte "in his histories 338 


J Italiak CAMPAioir ov 1796 ftebg page 14 

%/ Italian Campaign ov 1800 between pages 54, 55 

Y Battle of Austerutz facing page 114 

Y Battle of Waobam facing page 148 

^ BussiA, WiLNA TO SMOLENSK .... between pages 166, 167 
•^ Campaign of Waterloo, Jwm IS, 1816, 9 A.M. . facing page 250 

Y The Same, June 16, 1815, 5 P.M. facing page 256 

The Same, June 18, 1815, 4 A.M. facing page 268 

y Battle of Watebloo,* June 18, 1815, 745 P. M. 

between pagea 282, 288 

> tat this map the »nthor is indebted to Captain Sibone't -ralnable Atlas. 




The career of Napoleon Bonaparte possesses 
an irresistible attraction for every one. We rec- 
ognize the fascination of that wonderful story 
of brilliant achievement, steady toil, and unpar- 
alleled success, followed by defeat, abdication, 
exile. The great names, Marengo, Austerlitz, 
J^na, Leipsic, Waterloo, St. Helena, are all fa- 
miliar to our ears. 

Moreover, we are all more or less acquainted 
with the various and frequently opposite opin- 
ions that have been held regarding Napoleon 
and his work. We know that Sir Walter Scott 
and Sir Archibald Alison give us the views of 
the nation that was always his most active and 
persistent foe; that Thiers, in his great work, 
tries as a patriotic Frenchman to do him full 
justice ; that Lanfrey, in his recent biography, 
attacks his memory with all the virulence of 
political hate, caused by existing political con- 
troversies in which he has been himself a most 
active partisan. 


We know, also, not only that we are three 
thousand miles away from the scene of Napo- 
leon's activity, but that our country is separated 
by a great gulf, in laws, traditions, and social 
and political conditions, from the Europe of the 
First Napoleon. Doubtless many of us have 
seen the absurdity of instituting any compari- 
son between him and Washington; no doubt 
we have recognized that there is no substantial 
resemblance between the French Revolution and 
our own. Very likely we have all felt the great 
difficulty of f onning any conclusions in regard 
to Napoleon and his work in which we should 
ourselves place any very great confidence. Let 
us, however, make another trial. 

And our first task must be to understand the 
character of the times. 

Prior to the French Revolution the continent 
of Europe, with the exception of Switzerland, 
was ruled in the interest of privileged classes. 
The Emperor of Germany, the Kings of France, 
Prussia, Spain, and Portugal, the Czar of Rus- 
sia, the* Electors, Dukes, Margraves, Landgraves, 
and Archbishops who ruled over the smaller 
German States, the Senates of Venice and Ge- 
noa, all these princes and potentates governed 
their subjects, with greater or less attention to 
their needs to be sure, but with a uniform as- 
sumption of the " divine right of kings." But 
this was not all. Everywhere on the continent 
there were orders of nobility, ecclesiastical f unc- 


tdonaries and the like, who were not amenable to 
the general laws of the land; who, many of 
them, were not liable to taxation ; who in many 
eases possessed rights over their poorer neigh- 
bors that were extremely oppressive, vexatious, 
and burdensome. 

While all this was universally true, there were 
distinctions. In Russia there existed an oriental 
despotism, modified, to be sure, by occasional as- 
sassination, but still hopelessly incapable of mod- 
ification in the direction of progress. In Prus- 
sia there was the strictest of military systems, 
permeating entire society. The army was offi- 
cered solely from the nobility. The serfe were 
tied to the soil. No doubt the Great Frederic 
had done much for his people, but Prussia, al- 
though an enlightened country in many ways, 
was wedded to a system of which the king, the 
army, the nobility, and the serfs were the chief 
and almost the only constituents. In Austria, 
and in the Catholic states of Germany, the sit- 
uation was rendered more complicated by the 
great wealth of the Roman Catholic Church, its 
enormous political influence, and the compara- 
tive immunity of its large possessions from taxa- 
tion. In fact, the army, the nobility, the church, 
and the peasantry, constituted throughout upper 
Germany almost the only components of the 
population, and from neither of these classes 
could important changes for the better be ex- 
pected, at least within any reasonable time. 


In France the situation was in some respects 
worse, and in some respects better than in Ger- 
many. The absenteeism and extravagance of 
the nobility were no doubt more pronounced 
than in Grermany, and led to worse results. The 
peasants were ground down by agents, and their 
hard earnings were wasted in luxurious profli- 
gacy at Paris and Versailles. They were, be- 
sides, subject to numerous petty but extremely 
vexatious exactions in the way of labor, tithes, 
and the like, which added greatly to the misery 
of their situation. Moreover, France was heavily 
in debt; she had been for years recklessly 
straining her resources in foreign wars. Still, 
she possessed one element which the states of 
Germany did not possess, at least to anything 
like such an extent, and that was a large and 
prosperous and intelligent middle class. These 
people, though shut out from participation in 
the administration of the government, were often 
well educated and of real importance. Then the 
nobility and gentry of France contained very 
many men of enlightened views, who were deter- 
mined to improve the condition of their coun- 
try. The philosophical and political writings of 
Voltaire and Rousseau, and their coadjutors, 
which attacked the principles on which the old 
rigirae was based, found a large and influential 

Italy was, then as now, composed of various 
communities. The States of the Church and 


the Kingdom of Naples were misgoyemed to 
such a degree that the wretchedness of the 
poorer classes in those countries has rarely heen 
equalled. The Austrian provinces and Piedmont 
fared somewhat better. Italy also possessed a 
tolerably large educated class, and many puUic* 
spirited private citizens. 

In all these countries there had been an im* 
provement in the condition of the people since 
the beginhing of the century, due partly, no 
doubt, to the well-intentioned efforts at reform 
of many of the rulers, but mostly to the growth 
of wealth, and the consequent enlightenment 
and social influence of the middle classes. But 
in Spain there had been little change. Here 
the old system of things existed in full force. 
Here was the most corrupt and bigoted of 
courts, the most unmitigated priestly despotism, 
and an almost entire separation from the ideas 
of modem Europe. 

It is obvious from this brief review that in 
none of the countries of which we have spoken 
was there anything like government by the peo- 
ple. In fact, it is sufficiently clear, I think, 
that in most, if not all, of these countries any- 
thing of this sort was for the moment, at least, 
wholly impracticable. The first need of these 
countries was better government ; to this, con- 
tentions regarding the right to govern might 
well be postponed. The evils under which the 
peoples of the continent were groaning in 1789 


were real and not theoretical^ and until they 
should be delivered from them, questions of the- 
ory must wait. It was no doubt a fair question 
for the freemen of Massachusetts and Virginia 
whether the King of England was entitled to 
levy taxes from them without their consent any 
more than from the freemen of York and Sus- 
sex; and it was equally within their compe- 
tency to resist by force of arms a pretension, the 
burden of which they had actually never felt 
They were already possessed of political power; 
they and their ancestors had enjoyed it for hun- 
dreds of years ; the only question of 1776 re- 
garded the extent of its exercise. But the Eu- 
rope of the French Revolution stood in no such 
attitude as this to the problems of 1789. It 
was with the Europe of that day not a question 
of political power, except incidentally ; the need, 
the all-absorbing need, was relief from intolera- 
ble oppression, gross and most exasperating in- 
equalities in social and economical and political 
status ; it was to undo the heavy burdens and 
to let the oppressed go free, and to break every 
yoke. Connected with this, an essential part of 
it, we may admit, was the participation of that 
portion of the people of each country who were 
fit for it in the tasks and privileges of govern- 
ment. But the first, the imperative, thing to do 
was to break down the power of the privileged 
classes, to subject the nobleman and the ecclesi- 
astic to the penalties of the same law that bore 


upon the bourgeois and the peasant, and to im- 
pose the same taxes upon their property ; and 
at the same time to g^ve the humbler classes the 
same legal rights that belonged to their nobler 
and wealthier neighbors, to lift from them the 
burden of extortion, imposition, and injustice, 
and to open to them the chance of attaining the 
legitimate objects of human ambition. This 
done, and the possession and exercise of political 
power would come in good time. 

Naturally enough, however, the French Revo- 
lutionists asserted the rights of man, and based 
their proceedings upon that assertion. Yet, as 
a matter of fact, at no time during the Revolu- 
tion did the people of France govern themselves 
in the sense that we are to-day governing oup- 
selves. The National Assembly, the Terrorists, 
the Committee of Public Safety, the Directory, 
governed France as despotically as ever had 
Louis the Fourteenth ; nor can we wonder at 
it. Had they not done so, the tide of revolu- 
tion would probably have gone backward. The 
masses of a people who have been rigidly gov- 
erned for centuries, however true may be the 
statement that they possess the right to govern 
themselves, — a question I will not discuss here, 
— do not and cannot be expected all at once to 
exercise that right. Like many other arts in 
this world, the art of self-government is of slow 
growth, and neither the enactments of 1789 and 
1790, nor the terrible tragedies of 1792 and 


1793 were able to confer upon the masses of the 
French people the political aptitude for manag- 
ing their own affairs^ which was the inheritance 
of English and American freemen. Hence the 
harsh and searching despotism of the Reign of 
Terror, a despotism which had undoubtedly for 
its object to maintain the most advanced posi- 
tions of the extreme party on the subject not 
only of liberty, but of the political rights of 
man. You observe the anomaly, but observe 
also the alleged necessity. Close students of the 
French Revolution assure us that it was more 
than once in danger of stopping, and of reac- 
tion: that is, the people, if left to themselves, 
would have receded from the claims put forward 
in their behalf, and have welcomed the return 
of the old order of things, with, of course, some 
important changes. To prevent this, the revo- 
lutionary party felt themselves obliged to take 
stringent measures ; that is, the party which as- 
serted the rights of man felt themselves obliged 
to refuse to those who differed from them the 
exercise of those rights. Singular position, in- 
deed ; but this is always the result of conferring 
poUtical rights in advance of the fitness of the 
grantees to wield their new privileges. But 
what I want you to remember particularly here, 
is, that during the entire Revolution France 
was despotically governed; there was no local 
self-government to speak of; everything was 
done according to orders from Paris. True, this 


was done professedly in the interest of liberty, 
and was doubtless necessary, unless the people 
were to be left free to return to the monarchy ; 
still it was done ; even the French Revolution 
made no very general practical difference in re- 
spect to the quantum of political power actually 
exercised by the people. 

But in respect to the quantum of liberty and 
equality enjoyed by the people it made a tremen- 
dous difference. All artificial distinctions were 
swept away ; all unequal burdens were rectified ; 
great monopolies were suppressed; all privileges 
were abolished; the burdens of taxation and 
military service were imposed alike on noble and 
peasant; the throne, the church, the nobility, 
were destroyed. A new era was fairly and hope- 
fully begun. An enthusiasm for the rights of 
man, ardent and contagious, filled the air. 

Revolutions, as we have often been told, are 
not made with rose-water ; certainly the French 
Revolution was no exception to this rule. The 
changes of which we have been speaking, bene- 
ficial as they were to the many, were crushing 
blows to the few. Rank, privilege, office, emolu- 
ments, salary, perquisites, often the very means of 
subsistence, were ruthlessly and suddenly swept 
away. The destruction of the inequalities that 
weighed so grievously upon the poorer and mid- 
dle classes was, in another aspect, nothing but 
the abolition without compensation of innumera- 
ble vested rights. To free slaves is to take away 


the property of masters. Hence, the great and 
beneficent reforms of the French Revolution, 
carried through as they were, not gradually and 
cautiously and mildly, but suddenly and vio- 
lently and harshly, excited the implacable re- 
sentment of those who suffered by them and 
those whos^ lives were bound up with the old 
order of things. Many of them became traitors 
to their country, and stirred up against her the 
hostility of the other powers. Others excited 
insurrections at home, or carried on treasonable 
correspondence with the enemy. All this natu- 
rally and inevitably increased the revolutionary 
furor, and led to extreme measures of retaliation. 

I need not dwell on this part of the sub- 
ject. Every one knows the fierce and aggressive 
character which the Revolution assumed ; the in- 
tolerance, the espionage, the despotism, of dem- 
agogues and o£ jacobin clubs; the terrible 
•^ scenes of blood; the continuous and indiscrim- 
inate executions; the revolutionary furor, not 
only overspreading France, but burning to carry 
revolutionary principles and methods at the point 
of the bayonet and to the fierce music of the 
Marseillaise into all the respectable and conser- 
vative duchies and oligarchies and monarchies of 
Italy and Germany. 

And the fact really was that the French Rev- 
olution was the beginning of a new order of 
things, of which the leading principle was the 
equality of all men before the law ; and this prin- 


ciple was not only opposed to the theories enter- 
tained at that time by the great mass of the well- 
to-do and cultivated classes, but on the continent, 
at any rate, it actually threatened their material 
well being. Where was the French nobleman ? 
An exile, if fortunate enough to be still alive. 
Where was the French gentleman, whose in- 
come, and often a slender one, was drawn from 
certain manorial or other rights or impositions, 
which lay like mortgages or ground rents on the 
lands of the neighboring farmers ? His income 
wholly gone, teaching French for a living, very 
likely, in London or New York. Nothing like 
such a wholesale spoliation of the upper classes 
of a country had ever been seen or heard of be- 
fore. No doubt imagination and terror added 
much to the natural hostility provoked by French 
principles, as they were called. But, in sober 
truth, the Revolution stood for a new and ut- 
terly antagonistic system: from the first mo% 
ment there began between the Revolution and 
the established order of things in Europe what 
the late Mr. Seward would have termed "an 
irrepressible conflict." Thai this conflict should 
express itself in war was of course to be ex- 
pected. In the same year that Louis XVI was 
guillotined, France^ was at war with all her 
neighbors from the Scheldt to the Pyrenees. 

We have not time here to enter into the 
details of the war; we can only take a hasty 
glance at its general features. The raw volun- 


teers which France sent in multitudes into the 
field were at first badly beaten. The organization 
of the old regular army had been broken up in 
great part by revolutionary proscription, and its 
discipline and efficiency greatly impaired ; never- 
theless it was these troops that saved France. 
After a while able men came upon the stage: 
Jourdan, Pichegru, Moreau, Hoche, appeared at 
the head of armies. And, second in command 
of the artillery at the siege of Toulon, then oc- 
cupied by British troops, supported by a British 
fleet, a young major of artillery, by name Napo- 
leon Bonaparte, made his mark for the first time. 
He saw at once, with the unerring eye of a great 
soldier, the key to the position, and when his 
advice had been taken and Toulon had fallen, 
he was a man of distinction. 

Major Bonaparte was at this time twenty-four 
years of age. He was an officer of the old army, 
having been regularly educated at the military 
school at Brienne, and having served continu- 
ously from the time of his graduation. While 
at Brienne he was known for his intense applica^ 
tion to his studies, and he left the school with a 
reputation for talent. Unlike most' army officers, 
he found in the profession of arms a profession 
worthy of his utmost devotion. He read and 
studied the great campaigns of the world. He 
wrote for h^ own use commentaries and critd^ 
eisms on Caesar's operations in Gaul and Fred- 
eric's campaigns in Saxony and Silesia. Of every 


species of military knowledge he was a serious 
and accurate student. He was, moreover, as at- 
tentive to the dry details of the art as he was 
fond of studjdng its higher branches. No man 
in the army had a more sure eye for ground, 
could estimate more certainly what could and 
could not be effected by a battery placed here or 
placed there, whether a column of troops could 
or could not reach a given point by such or 
such a time. Nay, more than this, no captain 
of a company knew better than he whether the 
rations furnished to the men were what they 
should be or not ; Napoleon to the end of his 
days was a good judge of the common soldier's 
soup and bread. Let me illustrate the care with 
which he would look after little things. Long 
after the time of which I am speaking, when he 
had become Emperor, he was one day inspe^ng 
the Invalides, the home for aged and disabled sol- 
diers in Paris, and the matron was showing him 
the chests of drawers where the soldiers' linen 
was put. He bade her open a drawer : " I sup- 
pose you know," said he, " how to arrange these 
shirts when they come back from the wash." 
The good woman hesitated, and the Emperor 
then explained that the proper way was to put 
those newly washed at the bottom of the drawer, 
so that the same garments should not be worn 
and washed continually. I mention this to illus- 
trate his love of detail and of exactness. Noth- 
ing was too small for him. 


On the other hand, the promptitude with 
which he despatched the Toulon business showed 
not only the mind of the master, but the wide 
and careful study which takes the place of ex- 
perience. Here, when he arrived, was a poor 
and small army, under poor generals, attempting 
a task entirely beyond its strength : that of lay- 
ing siege to the large and strongly fortified city 
of Toulon, Bonaparte not only pointed out to 
the generals that with their present resources 
success in such an operation was wholly imprac- 
ticable, but he showed them that there was no 
necessity of attempting it ; that the defence of 
the place depended entirely on the presence of 
the fleet in the harbor, and that the capture of 
a certain promontory, TEguillette, would enable 
the French to compel the evacuation of the har- 
Borr His counsel was followed, and the proper 
steps were taken to reduce the works which the 
English had erected to maintain their position. 
In the meanwhile the young major reformed the 
artillery service of the army and doubled its effi- 
ciency. When the time came, the French car- 
ried the EngUsh fort, Mulgrave, erected their 
batteries on TEguillette, and the British fleet 
sailed away. How long the siege might have 
lasted had not the major opportunely arrived, it 
is hard to tell. But every man in that army, and 
what was more important perhaps at that time to 
the major, the deputies of the Convention, who 
had come down from Paris to push the siege 


vigorously, felt 'that in Bonaparte they had an 
officer of great capacity, who thoroughly knew 
his profession. He hecame at once one of the 
men of mark, one of those to he relied on in cir- 
cumstances of difficulty and danger. He was 
without delay appointed to the rank of general 
of brigade in the army which was operating near 
Nice, and he very soon, by his skilful manceuvres, 
enabled the French commander to turn the Aus- 
trian positions which he had been idly threaten- 
ing for weeks, and to take up a new and much 
more advantageous situation. 

At this time, the close of the year 1793 and 
the early part of the year 1794, Robespierre was 
at the head of France and governed her with a 
ruthless fanaticism, of which I need not to speak 
here. The fall of Toulon was followed by whole- 
sale executions. With these atrocities Napo- 
leon would have nothing to do. Even Lanfrey, 
who invariably makes the worst of the subject of 
his biography, admits frankly that all these harsh 
and barbarous doings were abhorrent to Napo- 
leon's nature, and that he did what he could to 
shield those unfortunates who came under the 
suspicion of the authorities. As to this side of 
Napoleon's character, we may as well pause here 
a moment and consider it. In spite of all the 
battles that he fought, and all the death, wounds, 
sickness, and misery inseparable from such vast 
military operations as for twenty years he con- 
ducted, it may safely be affirmed that Napoleon 


was not a harsh, still less a cruel* man. All the 
contemporary writers of any authority admit this 
in so many words, even though they may con- 
sider his comparative indifference to all this suf- 
fering almost as bad as cruelty or harshness, and 
even though they can point to some incidents in 
his career that certainly look like both.^ But 
the popular accusation of Napoleon on this head 
proceeds on the mistaken notion that to conduct 
so many wars a man must have a very hard heart. 
A little reflection, however, will show that this 
need not be so at all. A statesman deciding on 
war may no doubt often be charged rightly with 
not having sufficiently considered the miseries 
which his decision must involve. But, cul- 
pable as this is, it does not show any unusual in- 
difference to human suffering : it is merely the 
failure properly to bring these wretched inci- 
dents of war before the mind ; it is a deficiency 
in imagination. Twenty odd years ago we were 
plunged into a great war ; we may perhaps fair- 
ly hold that those who brought it about were 
in their intense political excitement inexcus- 
ably careless of the sufferings which a great 
war must occasion ; but none of us ever accused 
any of them of being personally harsh or cruel 
people. Napoleon, bred in a military school, 
wrapped up in the military profession, undoubt- 
edly considered war as the shortest and best way 
of settling all political disputes ; and, very likely^ 
^See Appendix I. 


as a military man, ^^a man of war from his 
youth/' many of the incidents of a campaign 
which to the civilian mind are most distressing 
were so familiar that it never occurred to him to 
notice them. As the ruler of the French Empire 
he no doubt often resorted to war when any one 
in his place not a military man, and accustomed as 
he was to miUtary methods, would have chosen 
some peaceful mode of action. When at the 
head of an army, careful as he undeniably was 
of his soldiers' welfare in all respects, he used 
them, as any general who expects to win a battle 
must use them, with a single eye to the success 
of the day, and without allowing the imagination 
to raise disturbing pictures of wounds and death. 
Just so, a surgeon, devoted tp his profession, 
magnifying its importance, may resort to an op- 
eration when his professional brother, the phy- 
sician, would have counselled milder treatment ; 
and, when he is performing the operation, he 
must, if he is a good surgeon, use the knife un- 
shrinkingly. Yet we all know that it would be 
very erroneous for us to attribute to such a sur- 
geon any special harshness of temper or indiffer- 
ence to human suffering. Bearing these princi- 
ples and keeping these analogies in mind, we 
shall understand, I think, pretty clearly what 
can and what cannot fairly be alleged against 
Napoleon in this regard. He was, as I have 
said, a soldier, born and bred ; he was all his 
life in the army ; he had a genius for war, and 


was skilful and successful beyond measure in 
military operations. If he sometimes engaged in 
a war when one more alive to its. evils would 
have avoided it, he never countenanced unneces^ 
sary or purposeless fighting. With him, a battle 
was always a serious and a critical matter ; the 
troops were spared as much as possible before- 
hand ; it was always his plan to make the en- 
counter a decisive one, and for this end he 
spared no pains. In his attention to the sick 
and wounded he has never been surpassed. 

Let us now return to our story. Seven 
months after the fall of Toulon occurred the 
Revolution of the Ninth of Thermidor, by which 
Robespierre and his chief associates were 
brought to the block, to the immense relief of 
everybody. The Convention, freed from the tyr- 
anny of the Jacobin Club, resumed its author: 
ity. But the people had ceased to respect the 
Convention. The Reign of Terror had worked 
a great change in public opinion. The interests 
of property and of social order began to assert 
themselves. Moderate men saw that the experi- 
ment of governing France by a National Assem- 
bly had resulted in a government by factions, 
oppressive and iniquitous beyond example, and 
they demanded some security against a recur- 
rence of similar evils. Even the partisans of the 
monarchy began to show their heads. It was 
clear that the government must undergo some 
transformation if France was to retain the ben- 


efits of the Revolution. In 1795, therefore, a 
new constitution was adopted, which gave the 
executive power to five Directors. In this and 
other respects the new arrangement was an ad- 
vance towards a conservative solution of the rev- 
olutionary problem. But the republicans in the 
convention had no notion of running the risk of 
having their work undone by a royalist reaction. 
There were many signs of a widespread change 
in the popular feeling, and in such an inflamma- 
ble country as France a sudden overthrow was 
among the possibilities to be guarded against. 
Accordingly it was provided in the new consti- 
tution that two thirds of the existing convention 
should be members of the new legislature, and 
that, after the first election, only one third of the 
members should annually go out of office. This 
device, so well calculated to ensure to the repub- 
licans the control of the country for some years 
at any rate, was unpopular with the reactionary 
party, who were foolish enough to try a resort 
to arms. Bonaparte was charged by the con- 
tention with the defence of the government. 
The "sections," as they were called, of Paris 
rose on the 13th of Vend^miaire, or the 4th 
of October, 1795 ; but, formidable as the insur- 
rection had appeared, it was easily quelled. 
General Bonaparte had by great personal exer^ 
tions collected a sufficient number of guns com- 
manding all the approaches to the Tuileries, 
against which the attack was directed. His 


orders were explicit, his soldiers were steady, 
the guns did their work. The mob of Paris had 
at last met its match. 

Dunng the autumn of this year, 1795, Gen- 
eral Bonaparte made the acquaintance of Ma* 
dame Beauharnais, a lady somewhat older than 
himself, whose husband, an officer of rank, had 
perished in the Revolution; and early in 1796 
they were married. She was a woman of un- 
common wit and fascination, and of considerable 
beauty, and Bonaparte was devotedly attached 
to her. On her side there was unquestionably 
also a strong feeling of admiration for her hus- 
band, and of pride in his talents and character ; 
and she loved him, it would seem, with an affec- 
tion which, while it certainly was not as strong 
as his at the outset, increased as time went on. 
Josephine was well aware of her powers of fas- 
cination, and in the earlier part of their married 
life caused her husband great vexation, and even 
apprehension, by her course in society. She was 
also a most extravagant person, to whose mind 
the economy, order, and exactitude that Napo- 
leon insisted on in the public service, and would 
gladly have carried into his household, were dis- , 
agreeable, and in fact insupportable. She caused 
him great annoyance by her lavish expenditures, 
and frequently excited his anger by her foolish 
attempts at prevarication when interrogated as to 
the amount of her debts. Josephine was a good 
woman and a clever one, but she did not possess 


a well*inf ormed mind, or a strong and deep na- 
ture, or a well-balanced character. Still she 
loved her husband, and assisted him to the best 
of her ability. At any rate she was the only 
woman whom Napoleon ever loved, in the strict 
sense of that word ; and she always possessed 
great influence over him, an influence that, 
whatever may have been his occasional infideU- 
ties, was shared by no other woman ; and their 
married life was undoubtedly a really happy one. 
In his letters to Josephine, and in all that he 
says about her, we see the best side of Napo- 
leon's character ; and no one familiar with the 
facts can fail to recognize the true affection and 
confidence that existed between them, despite 
occasional misunderstandings. Of the divorce, I 
must speak later ; suffice it to say now, that, as 
every one knows, it was not the result of any 
disagreement between them. 

Immediately after his marriage General Bona- 
parte took command of the Army of Italy, to 
which post he had just been appointed by the 
Directory. He arrived in Nice on the 27th of 
March, 1796. In this region the French armies 
had been for some two years or more opposing 
the troops of the King of Sardinia and the Em- 
peror of Austria, but without achieving anything 
of great importance. The French forces were 
inferior in numbers, discipline, and equipment to 
those of the allies, but it was soon to be seen 
what a man of first-rate ability could accomplish 
against odds. 


I shall not, of course, attempt to describe in 
any detail the campaigns of General Bonaparte 
in Italy. No military operations can be under- 
stood without close study, and those of 1796 
and 1797 were often extremely complicated. It 
is not worth our while to follow them too closely. 
Let me, however, try to give you a general 
notion of the plan of Napoleon. 

Many of you no doubt have been in Nice, 
and have made the journey from Nice to Genoa 
either by the Comiche road, which skirts the 
shore of the Mediterranean, or by the railroad, 
which pursues substantially the same route. You 
recollect, perhaps, how the Maritime Alps, which 
are a chain of mountains running generally par- 
allel with the line of the coast, and sending out 
their spurs almost to the sea, shut off the Riviera 
di Ponente, with its lovely villages, Mentone, 
Ventimiglia, San Remo, Finale, Savona, and the 
others, from the rest of the world. The French 
Army of Italy was scattered along the Riviera 
from Nice almost as far as Genoa. Nice was its 
base of supplies. Behind the first ranges of 
mountains, in detachments occupying thfe moun- 
tain villages, in positions lying to the north of 
those occupied by the French, was the main 
body of the Sardinian or Piedmontese army, con- 
necting on its left, that is at the easterly end of 
its line, and to the north or northeast of Savona, 
with the Austrian troops. 

Napoleon's base of operations was, as I have 


said; Nice ; his communicatioiis were confined to 
the Corniche road^ or rather to the path which 
then existed; such as it was, for the magnificent 
Corniche road was begun by him. The difficulties 
in undertaking operations in the neighborhood 
of Genoa^ on account both of the distance from 
his base, and of the possibility of his single line 
of communication being imperilled by a descent 
from the English fleet, which was watching the 
coast of the Riviera for an opportunity to do 
mischief, were obvious. But he saw that the 
enemy's troops were also occupying a long line, 
and were much separated and scattered, and that 
a concentrated attack on an important part of 
that line, if successful, would lead to great re- 

The thing to do was, if possible, to separate 
the two armies, to interpose between the Sar- 
dinian and Austrian forces, and to deal with each 
separately. To do this it was necessary to op- 
erate at a great distance from Nice, because the 
Austrian right was not advanced much beyond 
Genoa. The project was a most daring one, and 
it required all Napoleon's unerring skill and 
unceasing activity to give it a chance of suc- 
cess. But his temperament was hopeful ; of two 
courses he invariably preferred the bolder, and 
the greater the risk, the more interest he always 
took in the game. He concentrated his army 
at or near Savona, pushed his troops up through 
the passes, overcame by the superiority of force 


which his greater military capacity procured for 
him the Austrian and Sardinian troops that at- 
tempted to bar. his progress ; crossed the Mari- 
time Alps ; interposed between the Sardinian 
and Austrian armies ; and^ holding the latter 
in check by skilfully manoeuvring with a small 
fraction of his army, threw the bulk of his 
forces upon the Sardinians, defeated them again 
and again, and finally extorted a separate peace 
from the Sardinian government. Then, turning 
upon the Austrians, he outmanoeuvred them in 
crossing the Po, and, after the gallant affair of 
the Bridge of Lodi, where he seized the oppor- 
tunity of making his own personal courage 
known to his troops, he entered the city of 
Milan, the capital of Austrian Lombardy. 

Nothing so striking and brilliant had been 
seen since the time of Charles XII. of Sweden. 
Europe was astonished, France elated beyond 
measure. Nor did his successes stop here. The 
Austrian government replaced their general, an 
octogenarian by the name of Beaulieu, by an- 
other brave old veteran, Wurmser, but he was 
beaten over and over again, and finally forced to 
take refuge in Mantua. Their next general, Al- 
vinzi, though having the advantage of dealing 
with a force that had been seriously depleted, 
for the successes of the French had cost them 
dear, was no more fortunate than his predeces- 
sors ; and though, during the terrible three days 
of fighting at the Bridge of Areola, victory 


TTALIAN campaign of 1796. 

Situation of the Armies on the 15th. of April. 

Scale of Miles. 

g 10 20 30 40 ^50 


Prencli Heaaquarters, 


■ Austrian Headquartei"s, 
*P Sardinians, 

■ Sardinian Headquarters, 


seemed undecided, the daring and skill of Bona- 
parte at last prevailed, and the brilliant action 
of Rivoli crowned a campaign which had been 
illustrated by desperate and persistent courage, 
as well as by wonderful fertility of resource. 
Finally, the great Archduke Charles himself, 
reputed the best general of the continent, was 
sent into Italy ; but he soon found that with a 
discouraged and weakened army he was utterly 
unable to hold his own against the invaders. On 
the 18th of April, 1797, just a year from the 
crossing of the Maritime Alps, the preliminaries 
of peace were signed at Leoben, and were fol- 
lowed in six months by the treaty of Campo 

During the progress of the war, the French 
had come into contact with nearly all the Italian 
states ; with the Duchies of Parma, Modena, 
Tuscany ; with the oligarchical republics of Ge- 
noa and Venice; and with the States of the 
Church. It would be tedious and unprofitable 
for me to attempt to give the facts in detail. 
All that it is necessary for us to take into account 
here is, that the advent of the French meant to 
these populations escape from the misgovern- 
ment under which they labored, and a participa- 
tion in the grand movement toward equal rights 
and privileges inaugurated by France. The 
sentiment which welcomed the French existed 
chiefly in the middle and upper classes ; the 
ignorant peasantry, led by their bigoted priests, 


were equally averse to foreign intervention and 
to new ideas. Bonaparte played skilfully the 
part he had to play ; he recognized fully that all 
these little princes and potentates desired to see 
him beaten by the Austrians; he heard their 
mutteiings whenever his luck seemed for the 
moment to fail ; he knew that he owed them 
nothing ; but he did the best he could for the 
populations. The city of Venice and its ad- 
joining possessions he was compelled to resign 
to Austria as a necessary condition of peace ; 
but Austrian Lombardy, with the states of Mo- 
dena, Reggio, Bologna, and Ferrara, and a part 
of the Venetian territory were organized into a 
new state by the name of the Cisalpine Repub- 
Uc, which we may probably consider as the germ 
of the united Italy of to-day. This new repub- 
lic received a democratic constitution, and though 
no doubt the work of organization was very has- 
tily and very imperfectly done, yet the change 
was unquestionably a change for the better in 
all that constitutes liberal and just government. 
The objects of the war had been attained in 
forcing Austria to make peace, and in gaining 
such solid political benefits for the Italian neigh- 
bors of the French republic. 

The war, too, had been the making of the suc- 
cessful general. His reputation was of a diffei^ 
ent kind from that of the other distinguished 
generals of the republic ; it was not founded on 
a single great battle, like that of J()urdan, or on 


a well conducted retreat, like that of Moreau, 
nor on an almost unopposed, though skilfully 
conducted invasion, like that of Pichegfni. It 
was far higher than any of these. Bonaparte 
had been tried in his year of fighting in Itdy in 
every sort of way, and he had risen superior to 
every obstacle. Difficulties of transportation and 
communication, lack of siege equipage, of pon- 
toon trains, of clothing and equipment, had all 
been overcome. Again and again heavy numer- 
ical odds had been encountered, and again and 
again had his unwearied diligence and alertness, 
his imperturbably clear head, and his hopeful 
and daring courage extorted victory where es- 
cape even seemed well-nigh hopeless. Here in 
these campaigns in Italy he laid the foundations 
of that extraordinary hold which he always had 
over the soldiers of his armies. He was ever 
with them, seeing to everything himself, observ- 
ing the enemy with his own eye, and several 
times, at any rate, leading on his grenadiers 
sword in hand. At Lodi he was the second man 
across the bridge. At Areola, where not even 
his example could carry the men over, he was 
in the melee forced off the causeway into the 
marshes. Such a commander as this had never 
been seen. He was the idol of the army.^ The 
soldiers believed in him implicitly. Many of 
the men who fought at Lodi and Areola and 
Castiglione and Rivoli lived to see the sun of 

^ See Appendix II. 


Austerlitz and the snows of Russia. Here too^ in 
these Italian wars, were recognized for the first 
time some of the great generals of the period. 
Of these Augereau was perhaps the most distin- 
guished at that time ; but, following close on his 
steps, certainly, was a far abler soldier, Mass^na, 
who was one of the two or three ablest of Napo- 
leon's lieutenants, and of whom the Duke of 
Wellington used to say that he gave him more 
anxiety than any of those of Napoleon's marshals 
to whom he had ever been opposed. Mass^na 
was a thorough soldier, a man very fertile in re- 
s6urces> very daring, and very resolute. Lannes, 
also, another man of first-rate ability, came under 
the eye of Napoleon in these campaigns. 

It is time that we returned to France. While 
Bonaparte was settling the terms of the treaty 
with Austria, France was undergoing another con- 
stitutional change. Another movement, aimed, 
like that of the Sections of Paris iu 1795, at 
weakening the extreme republican party, found 
its expression in the elections of 1797, and was 
favored by two of the five Directors. We find 
it uupossible, with the very inadequate means at 
our command, to apportion praise or blame to 
the actors in these almost forgotten crises with 
any great certainty of being right in our award. 
Nor is it necessary for us to attempt this task. 
These crises seem to me to be the natural se- 
quelcBy as the doctors would say, of a severe rev- 


olution. Astronomers tell us that the celestial 
bodies, from having once been in a state of high 
incandescence, have by degrees cooled down and 
become contracted in size, and that this process 
is attended by certain geological catastrophes. 
In like manner it was to be expected that 
France, in her cooling down from the white heat 
of her Revolution, must have her violent con- 
tractions and convulsive epochs of refrigeration. 
One of these was the 13th of Vendemiaire, 
1795, when Bonaparte put down the rising of 
the Sections; one was the 18th of Fructidor, 
1797, of which we are now speaking; another 
was the 18th of Brumaire, 1799, of which we 
shall speak soon. Of this crisis, then, which 
culminated in the revolution or co^^p (Tetat of 
the 18th of Fructidor, 1797, all that we need 
know is that the army, which was still un- 
touched by the reactionary influence which had 
of late been quite perceptible in Paris, declared 
its intention of standing by the three Directors 
who were opposed to the Assembly ; that Bona- 
parte sent Augereau to Paris with a division of 
troops ; that the two Directors who were in sym- 
pathy with the Assembly were promptly disposed 
of ; that a great many persons were proscribed, 
banished to the colonies, and imprisoned; and 
in short, that the three successful Directors ruled 
matters with a high hand. 

It is important for us to take all this into ac- 
count for one reason especially, and that is, that 


it was this repubKc, so called, this government 
of the 18th of Fructidor, 1797, which Bona- 
parte overthrew on the 18th of Brumaire, 1799, 
when he assumed control of the government. 
Many persons ignorantly talk about Napoleon's 
having enslaved France, destroyed free institu- 
tions, and so forth. Do not let us forget that 
what he destroyed in 1799 was the arbitrary and 
irresponsible rule of these three Directors. You 
will find that Lanfrey, speaking of this coup 
(TeUit of the 18th of Fructidor, 1797, calls the 
Directors "triumvirs," says that all liberty of 
the press was destroyed, that France was en- 
slaved, and that all was ready for a military dic- 
tatorship ; yet when this consistent and veracious 
writer comes to treat of the 18th of Brumaire, 
1799, when Napoleon by another coup (Tetat 
put down this Directory, you would suppose, to 
judge from the way he speaks of the subject, 
that Bonaparte was pulling down a republic at 
least as orderly and constitutional as that of 
Massachusetts. But we are anticipating. 

The winter of 1797 and 1798 was passed by 
General Bonaparte in Paris. During this period 
the expedition to Egypt was projected. It is 
difficult to assign a good reason for this unnec- 
essary and hazardous undertaking. It seems 
quite probable that the Directory had their 
heads turned by the recent successes in Italy; 
they were eagerly launching out in every direc- 
tion, and were evidently excited with the hope of 


gaining important acquisitions beyond the sea. 
And it is quite likely that Bonaparte himself, who 
possessed together with a clear and sound judg- 
ment on means and methods a very vivid and 
enterprising imagination, allowed himself to en- 
tertain great ideas about the conquest of the 
East. At any rate he always, to the end of his 
days, talked in this strain regarding this episode 
of his life. Viewed, however, from the stand- 
point of the needs and welfare of France, no un- 
dertaking could well be more preposterous than 
an expedition to Egypt. It is true that at that 
time there still existed a French fleet ; but nei- 
ther at that time nor at any other time were the 
French superior to the English on the seas. How 
absurd, then, was the project of sending a power- 
ful French army to Egypt, whence its only possi- 
ble communication with home must be by water ! 
At this time, too, the political horizon was far 
from clear. Austria seemed on the brink of re- 
commencing the struggle, and it looked as if the 
Czar Paul would throw his sword into the scale 
against the French republic and its young client 
republics. It was an act of absolute folly on 
th^ part of the Directory to embark in such a 
distant and uncalled-for and unprofitable ven- 

The expedition to Egypt was, however, decided 
on, and it sailed in May, 1798. Taking Malta 
on the way, the French vessels arrived safely at 
Alexandria without the knowledge of the British 


fleet, which under Lord Nelson was flying hither 
and thither in hopes of intercepting them. It 
may show us how the world has gone ahead in 
some respects to recall the fact that this expedi- 
tion, which left Toulon on the 18th of May, did 
not land at Alexandria till the last of June! 
Alexandria and Rosetta fell without a struggle, 
and the army set out for Cairo early in July. 
But it will not be worth our while to pursue the 
fortunes of the Egyptian expedition. It is so 
evidently an outside matter, so entirely discon- 
nected with the march of events in Europe, that 
we had better leave the French army trudging 
through the sands along the banks of the Nile 
under the shadow of the pyramids, and return to 

What I am particularly tl-ying to direct your 
attention to in this investigation is the general 
character of the contest that was being waged 
between Prance and her dependencies, on the one 
hand, and the rest of Europe, on the other. It 
is represented by most English writers as a mere 
struggle for territory, for power, or even as a 
war of spoliation on the part of France. The 
sacred rights of nationality were, it is alleged, 
wantonly invaded and trampled on by the re- 
publicans. The resistance to the armies of 
France was inspired by the most sacred motives 
of patriotism. 

Let us now examine these assertions with a 
little care. We will take an example. The king- 


dom of Naples, over which ruled a branch of the 
house of Bourbon, may serve as our illustration. 
The court, the priests, and the lazzaroni consti- 
tuted one party ; the enlightened part of the up- 
per class and the middle class formed the other. 
It would be impossible to say which were the 
more bigoted, cruel, or tyrannical : the king, or 
the church, or the mob. The government was 
an absolute despotism, and the despots were not 
only absolute, but, what is worse, they were cow- 
ardly, and they were cruel. On mere suspicion 
the most respectable men were sent to the loath- 
some jails, often never to be taken out even for 
examination. Spies and informers infested the 
homes and places of business of well-to-do citi- 
zens. People of education, of public spirit, of 
enlightenment, were suspected of favoring French 
principles, and were treated with a rigor wholly 
unjustifiable. In all this the court party were 
fully maintained by England. In fact, the wife 
of the English minister, the celebrated Lady 
Hamilton, was the bosom friend of Queen Caro- 
line ; and Admiral Lord Nelson, whose mistress 
she was, supported the government in every 
measure of severe repression. 

From this intolerable state of things, respec- 
table and intelligent people in Naples looked to 
France as to a deliverer from Middle Age barba- 
rism. Accordingly, when Ferdinand, in an ac- 
cess of rage against French interference with the 
Papal territories, declared war against France, 


and his army, under the redoubtable Austrian 
general, Mack, whose career culminated several 
years later at Ulm, was defeated and dispersed 
in its encounters with the French army under 
Championnet, the French, when they entered 
Naples, were received by the better classes with 
the most sincere joy and relief, but by the laz- 
zaroni, excited to fury by their bigoted priests, 
with fanatical hostility. You will find every- 
thing that I have said in all the accounts ; I am 
not aware of having departed a jot from the 
standard authorities, — and I ask you the ques- 
tion. With which of these contesting parties is 
the cause of progress, of civil liberty, of enlight- 
enment ? Is it with the French invaders, or with 
the rabble of Naples ? To my mind, there can 
be but one answer to the question. I am not 
concerned to consider whether or not according 
to the practice of civilized nations the doings of 
the French in Rome gave to Ferdinand a legit- 
imate casus hellL I am free to say that I do 
not estimate the ignorant patriotism of the mob 
of Naples as a very important element in the so- 
lution of our problem. Those persons in Naples 
who were competent to form a judgment sided 
with the revolutionary party, and welcomed the 
assistance of the French ; and I think they were 
right. The question of relief from intolerable 
misgovernment, bolstered up by foreign support, 
was the question of the day at Naples. And no 
heated declamation about patriotic resistance to 


French invasion obscures this question in my 

Substantially, this was the nature of the con- 
test in the rest of Europe, although nowhere, 
probably, was the precise character of the ques- 
tion made so clear as in Naples. But in the 
Papal territories, in Austrian Italy, in the smaller 
fiefs and duchies and principalities of western 
Germany, especially in Spain, the opposing sides 
were taken by very much the same classes of the 
population as we have seen favoring and oppos- 
ing in Naples the advent of the French. No 
doubt the French often abused their successes ; 
the continual wars were certainly a terrible drain 
on the population, and on the patience and tem- 
per of the people ; moreover, the presence of the 
foreigner became in time well-nigh insupport- 
able, even though he had originally been the 
bringer in of great reforms. Still, however true 
all this may be, it, is a total perversion of the 
truth to represent France merely as a conquering 
nation, overrunning its neighbors solely from 
the vulgar greed of territory; or to dwell so 
fondly on the heroic and patriotic conduct of the 
most ignorant, bigoted, and prejudiced portions 
of the populations of these states in resisting 
stoutly the invaders of their soil. In point of 
fact, they were unwittingly the real enemies of 
their several countries ; they did what they could 
to retard their development, to retain oppressive 
institutions, to keep up the reign of intolerance 


and of superstition, and to keep out humane 
legislation, equal rights, and rehgious freedom. 

Let us follow the fortunes of the revolution in 
Naples a little farther. The French, as I have 
said, entered Naples, to the great relief of the 
better part of the people. The royal family fled 
to Sicily. A new government was organized, 
called the ParthenopaBan Republic, which was 
supported by most of the best citizens, and by 
many of the most distinguished men of the 
kingdom. But the enterprise was, so far as the 
French were concerned, an ill-advised one. Bona- 
parte was in Egypt. The French arms met with 
reverses in the north of Italy, and Naples had to 
be abandoned. The peasantry under Cardinal 
Ruffo rose against the new republic. Naples 
could not be defended against these fanatical 
hordes, assisted as they were by British vessels 
of war in the harbor. A capitulation was signed, 
providing for the safety of the persons and prop- 
erty of all connected with the revolution, and 
an amnesty was proclaimed. For those who 
had been especially compromised, and who de- 
sired to go to France, passage was to be pro- 
vided. Suddenly the British fleet, under Nelson 
himself, appeared. He at once of course as- 
sumed command of all the British vessels in the 
harbor. One of his ships carried Ferdinand and 
his Queen, and Sir William and Lady Hamilton. 
The whole capitulation and amnesty were set 
aside as a compact with traitors. The unfortu- 


nate prisoners were executed in great numbers. 
In vain the English captains who had signed the 
papers protested that the honor of the British 
flag was involved, that the well understood code 
of military law forbids the molestation of men 
who with arms in their hands have been allowed 
to surrender. To all these remonstrances Nel- 
son was deaf. He was himself a fanatic on 
the subject of the divine right of kings ; popu- 
lar risings were abominations in his eyes; and 
the support of the whole abortive attempt by 
France aggravated his rage. Lady Hamilton, 
as I have said, was the intimate friend of the 
Queen, and the Queen was most implacable. 
Nelson went all lengths. He allowed of&cers of 
the republic included in the surrender to be 
tried by courts-martial held on board English 
vessels of war, and he disgraced the British flag 
by hanging at least one of them, and him the 
most distinguished. Admiral Caraccioli, from the 
yard-arm of an English frigate. I have many 
a time seen in Naples, in the Strada di Mer- 
gellina, a house bearing a tablet containing an 
inscription to the memory of this unfortunate 

It is not at all with the view of attacking 
Lord Nelson that I have adverted to this painful 
theme. It is with the view of showing you by 
an unmistakable example that in all your study 
of this epoch you must expect to find things of 
this sort, when done by the party which finally 


succeeded, that is the reactionary party, passed 
over in comparative silence ; and everything o£ 
the kind done by their opponents magnified and 
dwelt upon so as to distort the truth of history. 
I suppose there may be twenty people who have 
condemned Napoleon for the execution of the 
Due d'Enghien, where there is one that has con- 
demned Lord Nelson for the murder of Carac- 
cioh. One reason of this certainly is that Nel- 
son and his side were in the end successful, and 
Napoleon and his side were not. All I mean to 
say is that we must look out for this feature in 
the histories of this period, and make due allow- 
ance for it. 

Returning now to our story. The war had 
broken out again in 1799, and Russia sent her 
celebrated general, Souvorof, into Italy to help 
the Austrians. The French were generally un- 
successful. Macdonald and Joubert were badly 
defeated ; even Massena was forced into Switzer- 
land ; and it looked at one time as though an in- 
vasion of France was a not impossible event. 
But Massena proved himself more than a match 
for the Russian general, and in a series of severe 
actions near the Lake of Zurich, he forced Sou- 
vorof to retreat with great loss. 

On the sea, too, the French had been most 
unfortunate. Nelson had destroyed the French 
fleet in the roads of Alexandria, in the celebrated 
action known as the Battle of the Nile, and 


thenceforward the French army in Egypt en- 
joyed only the most precarious means of comma* 
nication with their own country. 

At home the Directory was very unpopular* 
Not only had military events gone against public 
expectation in Italy, but elsewhere there w^as 
much to complain of. The government had pro- 
voked a causeless quarrel with the United States ; 
French frigates and privateers had captured 
American merchantmen ; and the tone assumed 
by the Directory in its negotiations with the 
American envoys was ill calculated to avoid an 
open rupture. 

But the great cause of dissatisfaction with the 
existing government was that every one felt it to 
be a mere transitory phase of the revolutionary 
movement, and that, as a transitory phase, it had 
lasted about long enough. It was not, and did 
not pretend to be, a government by the people. 
It had in fact, in the coup d^itat of the 18th of 
Fructidor, 1797, withstood by force of arms the 
effect of the popular vote, fearing lest, if the 
people were to be allowed freely to express their 
will, its own continuance in power might be en- 
dangered, and even a return of the monarchy 
brought about. Hence the Directory of 1799 
was in a singular position. It stood for the 
Revolution as against the Reaction, undoubt- 
edly ; but it also did not hesitate to employ ille- 
gal methods, imprisonment, banishment, force, 
in short, to maintain its position. It was a 


creature of yesterday. No man on the Board of 
Directors was a specially eminent man. The 
world has put up with a good deal of tyranny 
from monarchs whose hereditary right to reign 
is claimed on the strength of a descent from a 
long line of kings. An oligarchy composed of 
great nobles, actually possessing political power, 
has often, as in Venice for instance, ruled for 
generations with the consent and general appro- 
val of the governed. But the position of the 
five men who constituted the French Directory 
was unlike anything of this nature. It was due 
not to their talents or services, but to political 
intrigues. Viewed separately, they were insignif- 
icant men. As an oligarchy, they ruled France 
in her internal and external relations with a des- 
potic hand. Against this public opinion revolted. 
It was evident that another crisis, similar in 
some of its aspects to those of the 13th of Ven- 
d^miaire, 1795, and the 18th of Fructidor, 1797, 
another catastrophe of refrigeration or contrac- 
tion, — to recur to my former simile, — was inevi- 
tably approaching. The present state of things 
satisfied no man's theoretical views ; it did not 
succeed well as a practical scheme. It was felt 
to be merely one step in the progress of events 
which h«,d begun in 1789. How long this pro- 
visional state of things would last, nobody could 
tell ; what would come next, nobody could fore- 
see. That the existing system had no hold upon 
the country, that it satisfied no one, that it 


must inevitably before long pass away, — all this 
was plain. 

At this moment, when these opinions were 
most strongly felt, Bonaparte, on the 6th of 
October, 1799, returned from Egypt. 



It did not take General Bonaparte long, after 
his arrival in Paris in 1799, to comprehend the 
political situation. The weakness of the Direc- 
tory was evident ; its unpopularity manifest. 
And, as I have substantially said before, it was 
not only that the members of the government 
were personally disliked. It was clear, by a 
thousand unmistakable signs, that the Directory 
as a form of government, as a phase of the revo- 
lutionary disease, or, if you please, convales- 
cence, had served its purpose, and would soon 
be replaced by something else. It only needed 
some one who had the courage to push his shoul- 
der against the wall ; it was sure to tumble. The 
Directory, in fine, existed on sufferance. 

Nor were signs wanting to Napoleon of his 
being the man to whom the nation looked as its 
leader, as the man whose mission it was to termi- 
nate this strife of revolutionary factions, to unite 
all Frenchmen, both at home and abroad, in a 
cordial support of the new flag, to become the 
head of a stable and settled order of things, 


which should nevertheless be founded on the 
great and beneficial reforms brought about by 
the Revolution. 

In a very few weeks occurred the coup cTetat 
of the 18th of Brumaire, 1799. I do not pro- 
pose to take up your time with a narration of 
what took place. Suffice it to say, that by a 
skilful show of force, Bonaparte, without firing 
a shot, overturned the Directory, dispersed the 
legislature, and assumed the reins of govern- 
ment. But I do want you to remember that the 
government which he overthrew was not such a 
republican government as that under which we 
are living, here in Massachusetts, to-day. It 
was an arbitrary government ; the Directors had 
themselves, only two years before, as we have 
seen in the last lecture, put down their constitu- 
tional opponents by force of arms, and punished 
them by banishment and imprisonment. The 
republic of 1799 need not be mourned. 

We can go farther than this. We can safely 
say that a people, the masses of whom are in 
such a state of political inexperience and inca- 
pacity as were the French people in 1789, do 
not and cannot govern themselves. It is of no 
consequence what assertions as to their natural 
right to do so may be made on their behalf by 
political philosophers or by honest patriots. 
They cannot do so, because it is work to which 
they have never been in the least accustomed. 
Let no one think that in what I say I am speak- 


ing against the possibility of a people governing 
itself. Not at all. I am only saying that no 
nation in the state in which France was in 1789 
could possibly be expected to govern itself. 
Such a nation requires an education in the art 
of self-government. The people have not the 
needed knowledge of affairs, or the moderation, 
or the sagacity in the selection of their rulers, 
nor do they possess the inherited political tradi- 
tions which exist or have existed among all the 
populations that do or ever have governed them- 
selves. And as matter of fact, France never had 
been more rigorously governed than since her 
entry upon the revolutionary epoch. The As- 
sembly, the Terrorists, the Committee of Public 
Safety, the Directory, governed everything by 
decree from Paris. All this was what might have 
been expected. It was not only perfectly natu- 
ral, but it was inevitable that it should be so. 
No laws, no changes in the form of government, 
no bestowals of power, no executions, no catas- 
trophes, no victories, no declamations, could do 
for France more than what had been done for 
her. And what was that ? To break the chains 
of unjust and unequal law ; to raise the masses 
of her people to a legal equality with the better 
classes; to allow her the opportunity of estab- 
lishing in her political and legal system the great 
principles of justice, equality, and humanity ; 
and to put it within her power to enter on a 
course of political experience, if she chose so to 


do, which would result in the course of time in 
making her then ignorant and bigoted peasantry 
fit to exercise the franchise. More than this, no 
human power could have accomplished. This 
had been at least fairly and hopefully begun, 
and the task of Napoleon in his domestic admin- 
istration was to carry it out thoroughly and 
wisely, and to establish it on a permanent and 
secure basis. This work of the Revolution was 
in 1799 in danger of being swept away in a re- 
turning tide of royalist reaction, for it was im- 
possible, now that the revolutionary fervor had 
subsided, that property and aU the other conser- 
vative elements in society should not reassert 
their customary influence, put a stop to the suc- 
cession of revolutions and coups (JCetatj and es- 
tablish in their stead a monarchy of some kind. 
Let the Bourbons return in 1799, and the good 
work of tne last ten years would be undone with 
a vengeance. Yet it was either the Bourbons 
or Napoleon. •A republic existing in a country 
where you cannot trust the people, where you 
have to annul the elections and send representa- 
tives to penal colonies, unless you are prepared 
to see the halls of a republican legislature filled 
with the partisans of monarchy, — and that was 
precisely the position of the French republic 
in 1799, — is indeed in a precarious situation. 
I should rather say, however, that such a repub- 
lic is not a republic at all ; it is really a kind of 
ohgarchy ; it is the ease of a country in which 


monarchy has been abolished, and in which great 
and beneficial reforms have been introduced, 
being despotically ruled by a few obscure poli- 
ticians, who, not owing their position to high 
birth or to great possessions, or to anything 
which appeals to the imagination, are the objects 
of universal jealousy and hostility. They cannot 
hold their position ; it is time that they retire, 
and allow a man of real distinction to assume 
their part. No one vis the worse for a change of 
tins kind. The country in fact feels reassured in 
the conviction of the'^reater security of its newly 
gained liberties. 

Napoleon, then, in the coup cTetat of* the 
18th of Brumaire, 1799, did not destroy the lib- 
erties of France ; I hope you all feel clear about 
this. What he put down was an irresponsi- 
ble and arbitrary oligarcny ; as for the liberties 
of France, they were soon to receive Trom him 
their grand and permanent embodiment in the 
Code Napoleon, without which, ii is safe to say, 
they could not have resisted the assaults of the 
Restoration. Of this I shall speak in another 

Two features illustrated the new coitj? d'etat : 
th3 first, that it was followed by no political pro- 
scriptions ; and the second, that it was hailed by 
all classes with joy and satisfaction. A revolu- 
tion never was accomplished more happily than 
this. The truth is, everybody wanted it. Then, 
the surprise, and grateful surprise, of the good 


people of France, to find for the first time in ten 
years that they had a ruler who did not find it 
necessary to kill, banish, or imprison his political 
opponents, must have been a delightful feature 
in the new situation. All the accounts concur 
in representing the change as a most fortunate 
and auspicious one, welcomed by the conserva- 
tive classes as putting an end to the Revolution, 
and giving sincere satisfaction to the masses, as 
assuring them that their newly acquired rights 
would now be entrusted to an efficient defender. 
Bonaparte was the head of the new regime 
under the title of First Consul. The other Con- 
suls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, were both good 
men of affairs. The new government at oncft 
went to work to reorganize all the departments 
of administration, which were in an extremely 
neglected condition. Bonaparte summoned to 
his aid the best talent, and the most honest and 
faithful public servants he could find. Royalist 
or republican, returned emigrant or regicide, it 
was all the same to the new chief, who recog- 
nized and made everybody feel that France had 
taken a new departure, and that " bygones must 
be bygones." One of the objects which the 
First Consul desired most ardently was to termi- 
nate the political strifes and animosities of the 
Revolution. He saw the great desirability of 
uniting all parties and all factions in France in a 
cordial support of an administration which, while 
it recognized and proceeded upon accomplished 


facts^ was averse to radical changes in either 
direction. Besides, he desired sincerely the re- 
turn to France of the emigres^ the royalists in 
exile, who, from being unable to accept the 
ruthless spoliation of the revolutionary epoch, 
or from a well-grounded fear that their lives 
were in danger if they remained in a commu- 
nity so given over as France was in the days 
of the Terror to suspicion and violence, had left 
their native country, to which they were now 
forbidden under severe penalties to return. To 
the great bulk of these classes he extended a 
complete amnesty. 

Before, however, prosecuting further the work 
of internal reorganization, it was necessary for 
the First Consul to turn his attention to the for- 
eign relations of France. Two powers, England 
and Austria, alone kept up the war ; Russia had 
retired from the field. The First Consul de- 
termined to signalize his elevation to the chief 
power in the state by communicating personally 
with the Emperor and the King. He urged upon 
them the miseries of war, and the willingness of 
France to make peace. The Emperor Francis 
returned a civil, though unsatisfactory answer ; 
but King George the Third replied through his 
minister for foreign affairs. Lord Grenville, that 
the best evidence France could give of the sin- 
cerity of her pacific intentions would be to re- 
call the Bourbons. To such a haughty recep- 
tion of her overtures France could, of course, 


make but one answer, — to prepare vigorously 
for war. 

There was nothing to be done against Eng- 
land ; the French fleet was too weak even to at- 
tempt to rescue the army in Egypt. The Eng^ 
lish sent there a considerable force under a 
gallant old soldier, Sir Ralph Abercromby. Un- 
happily for the French, Kl^ber, who was really 
an able man, had fallen by the hand of an 
assassin, and the army under the incompetent 
Menou was unable to make head against the 
English. A convention was finally concluded, 
and the veterans of Aboukir and Acre returned 
to France. 

The war with Austria presented a wholly dif- 
ferent aspect. Two great Austrian armies were 
threatening the French frontier : one, under 
Kray, on the Rhine ; the other under M^las, in 
Italy. The theatres of the operations of these 
armies were separated by Switzerland, and Swit- 
zerland was occupied by French troops. Its 
possession, therefore, gave to France a very 
great advantage in either campaign, for it was 
equally possible, by operating from Schaffhau- 
sen, to throw a force upon Kray's communica- 
tions with Ulm, and by crossing the Great St. 
Bernard, to interpose between M^las and his com- 
munications with Austria. Both these schemes 
Bonaparte resolved to attempt. 

The French army of the Rhine was com- 
manded by Moreau, an officer unquestionably of 


great merit, though not possessing genius. He 
was a rather cautious man, a man who trusted 
very little to the inspiration of the moment, a 
man of sober methodical ways, to whom the 
speculative character of Napoleon's mind was al- 
together foreign and distasteful. Hence, when 
Napoleon proposed to him to throw his whole 
army from Schaffhausen directly in rear of the 
Austrians, urging upon him the splendid and 
overwhelming triumph which success in such an 
operation would give him, Moreau's mind re- 
verted to the certain difficulties of the project, 
and proposed on his side a plan by which the 
Austrian general should be induced, by demon- 
strations near Strasburg and Neu Brisach, to 
weaken his force opposite Schaffhausen, so that, 
although the French force crossing at Schaffhau- 
sen would be diminished by the detachments 
needed to make these demonstrations on the lower 
Rhine, it was certain that it would not be obliged 
to meet the entire Austrian army. After many 
conferences, Moreau was allowed, as he certainly 
should have been, to have bis own way ; and 
his campaign, for we may as well finish with it 
here, was very ably conducted. His crossing 
was successfully made; he drove the Austrians 
back upon Ulm in a series of actions in which 
he constantly maintained his superiority ; he 
then forced the passage of the Danube below 
Ulm, and compelled its evacuation ; and, finally, 
when Marshal Kray had been foolishly super- 


seded by the Archduke John, he routed his an- 
tagonist in the famous battle of Hohenlinden, 
and was well on his way to Vienna, when his 
victorious course was arrested by the signing of 
the preliminaries of peace. Moreau was, in fact, 
a very skilful officer ; probably his abilities have 
never received full recognition ; his unfortunate 
subsequent course brought about his exile, and 
he was finally killed in battle, at Dresden, fight- 
ing against his country. But this campaign of 
his in 1800 seems to me fully to justify the high 
encomiums that his admirers have awarded him. 
If not equal in brilliancy and striking audacity 
to that of Napoleon in 1805, we should remem- 
ber that Moreau was in a subordinate position, 
while the Emperor controlled all the resources 
of France and western Germany. Certain it is, 
that Napoleon, though he always adhered to his 
criticism on Moreau's plan for opening the cam- 
paign, nevertheless always spoke of its conduct 
in the highest terms. 

But we must return to the other campaign 
proposed by the First Consul, that of a descent 
into Italy through the passes of the Alps. The 
Austrians, you will recollect, had during Bona- 
parte's absence in Egypt recovered Italy ; they 
were now besieging Mass^na in Genoa, and pres- 
sing the remnants of the French army of Italy 
into the Riviera. Sardinia had allied itseK with 
Austria, or, rather, Austria had occupied and 
absorbed the dominions of the King of Sardinia. 


Of course it was possible to repeat the manoBu- 
vres of 1796, to break from the Riviera through 
the Maritime Alps, and to emerge on the plains 
of Lombardy. But the First Consul had some- 
thing far more effective and attractive than this 
in contemplation. He intended taking the al- 
most unheard of step of crossing the Alps, — a 
step which he knew would never be anticipated, 
— and then to place himseK boldly between 
M^las and his base of operations. 

There are three principal passes leading from 
Switzerland into Italy. The westernmost one, 
over the Mont Cenis, now pierced by a tun- 
nel, lies almost due west of Turin ; that by 
the Great St. Bernard lies northwest of Turin ; 
lastly, there is that by Mont St. Gothard, which 
brings you out between the lakes of Como and 
Maggiore, almost due north of Milan. This 
latter pass was not in possession of France at 
the opening of the campaign, but as soon as 
Moreau's successes opened it to French troops, 
a strong force was carried through it ; but this 
need not concern us at this moment. 

The First Consul had given to Moreau the 
only large army that France possessed. For his 
own use he caused a corps insignificant in num- 
bers to' be collected at Dijon, which was called 
the Army of Reserve, and to which alone the at- 
tention of the Austrian spies was directed. To 
this were added such troops as could be collected 
from depots and garrisons. In this way the 


entire force which was to cross the Alps over the 
Great St. Bernard was made up to about 35,000 
men. It was not a well organized army, in fact 
it can scarcely be said to have had any existence 
as an army at all, until it began to march. 
Among its generals, however, were counted 
Lannes, Victor, and Desaix, all excellent o£Bcers. 
By a demonstration made near the pass of 
Mont Cenis, the attention of the enemy was at- 
tracted in that direction, and the road over the 
Great St. Bernard was left comparatively un- 
guarded. Over this road, often difficult, but 
still passable for wagons and artillery, the First 
Consul led his army as speedily as possible until 
it reached the plains of Lombardy at Ivrea, a 
point nearly north of Turin. M^las, not fearing 
an attack from this quarter, had scattered his 
forces. Part of his troops were besieging Mas- 
s^na in Genoa; part were pushing Suchet to- 
wards Nice ; part were near Turin watching the 
Mont Cenis pass. Napoleon could no doubt 
have marched upon Genoa, for the relief of Mas- 
s6na, who was stoutly holding out to the last. 
Apart from the natural policy of such a move- 
ment, there would certainly have been a good 
chance of defeating the scattered forces of M^las, 
if they should attempt to bar his progress. But, 
once at Genoa, the whole task of reducing Lom- 
bar4y would still remain to be done. He would 
have to deal with an enemy superior in numbers, 
whose communications were unembarrassed. It 


would have been 1796 over again. It was not 
wortlj while to cross the Alps for this. 

A bolder and far more brilliant plan was de- 
vised, one of those plans most characteristic of 
the man ; he determined to possess himself first 
of Milan^ the moral effect of which could not but 
be great; then to establish himself behind the 
Ticino and the Po, and shut Melas up in the 
plains of Lombardy by placing the French army 
across his only communications with Austria. 

Accordingly, after feigning to march on Tu- 
rin, he directed his course east upon Milan and 
entered it. By this time Moreau had begun his 
movement on the Rhine, and a force of 15,000 
or 20,000 men was, as had been agreed between 
them, detached from Moreau's army, and sent 
over the pass of St. Gothard to Milan. This in- 
creased Bonaparte's disposable force to at least 
50,000 men. Leaving garrisons at all the im- 
portant places, he commenced his march south- 
ward and westward, crossing the Po, and mov- 
ing by way of Montebello towards Alessandria, 
keeping on the south side of the Po. Uncer- 
tain of the whereabouts of the enemy, the first 
news came in the form of a severe action at 
Montebello, where Lannes defeated the Austri- 
ans. Pursuing his march westward, and fear- 
ful lest Melas should escape him, Bonaparte de- 
tached Desaix to the southward to get further 
information. Suddenly, in the plain of Marengo, 
the Austrians were encountered in force. 

HATTHEwt, NgRTMRur* eo.,Mrr-{ 













Situation of the Armies on the 14th. of June, 
^ '"^^V^^^j y— 4 ^g -^flJ^ of ^^« Battle of Marengo, 

Scale of MUes. 

■■ Austrians, a 

ench Headquarters ^ Austrian Headquarters ^ 


M^las, who, though a very old man, was still 
a capable and vigorous officer, had endeavored, 
since he heard of the crossing of the Alps by 
the French, to collect his scattered forces. But 
Ott, who was besieging Genoa, insisted on wait- 
ing until Mass^na should be obliged to surren- 
der, and that resolute soldier held out so long 
that Melas could not effect the concentration of 
his army in time to make for the Fo, and gain 
his lines of communication. To do so would, of 
course, have been to give up everything but the 
fortified towns, but still he could reasonably 
have expected reinforcements when once within 
reach of them, while, if Napoleon should be mas- 
ter of his communications, there was nothing 
for it but a desperate fight, in which, if beaten, 
he would be at the mercy of his conqueror. 
And so in fact it proved. Fartly by the obsti- 
nacy of Ott in delaying to obtain the surrender 
of Genoa, partly by the celerity of Napoleon, 
very likely owing to the customary Austrian 
slowness of movement, Melas found that Napo- 
leon had seized his communications and was now 
advancing upon him, flushed with the success 
which had hitherto attended his marvellous 
plan, bringing with him all the prestige of su- 
perior skill, and confidently counting upon vic- 

But the brave old man was not a whit 
daunted. He boldly came out of the fortified 
city of Alessandria, crossed the Bormida, and 


advanced resolutely upon the French. The 
chances were not in Bonaparte's favor. His 
available force was not large, for he had been 
obliged to leave many of his troops at Milan, 
and also on the Ticino and the Po, to protect 
his communications. Then he had just sent 
Desaix off to find where the enemy were. What 
happened at the famous battle of Marengo we 
probably shall never exactly know. Certain it 
is that during nearly the entire day the French 
were driven back, and in some cases with disor- 
der. It is pretty clear that the troops fought 
badly. The army, as I have before said, was 
not a well organized army. Nevertheless it had 
good officers. Lannes and Victor strove to ar- 
rest the disorder. Bonaparte himself did every- 
thing that could be done, and hoped against 
hope. Finally, towards the end of the day, De- 
saix came up. Bonaparte's spirits rose. With 
new vigor he reanimated the drooping energy 
of the soldiers. Desaix's division made a for- 
midable charge, in which that gallant officer 
fell. Kellerman's regiment of horse was equal 
to the emergency, and broke to pieces an Aus- 
trian column. Poor old M61as, thinking the 
victory won, and fatigued with this long and 
arduous struggle, had gone back to Alessandria. 
The tide of battle turned. The French with 
the elasticity of their national temperament as- 
sumed the offensive, and drove their antagonists 
everywhere before them, capturing twenty can* 


non and six thousand prisoners. By a conven- 
tion executed a few days later, the Austrian 
army was allowed to retire behind the Mincio, 
but Lombardy was evacuated, and all the for- 
tified places were surrendered. 

The moral effect of the battle of Marengo 
was immense. It completely dazzled the world. 
The dramatic character of the whole campaign, 
so well calculated to bewilder and astonish ; 
the marvellous crossing of the Alps ; the unop- 
posed march to Milan and the welcome which 
that city gave to the liberating army, — for such 
was the light in which the French army was 
viewed ; the closing of the avenues of escape ; 
finally, the deadly struggle, with its varying 
chances, and the crushing victory, — all these 
features make the campaign of Marengo one of 
the most characteristic of Napoleon's campaigns. 
As such, we will now pause a moment and con- 
sider its leading features. 

I think the thing that most impresses us in 
this campaign is its completeness of design. Na- 
poleon aimed at compassing all the objects of 
the campaign in a consecutive series of move- 
ments which must terminate in a single battle. 
To gain the plains of Lombardy without a strug- 
gle ; to reestablish his former ascendency at the 
capital, Milan ; then to possess himself of the 
crossings of the great rivers, so as to shut off 
every avenue of escape ; lastly, to turn and seek 


his enemy, and to engage him in the decisive 
conflict, — this was the task he proposed to him- 
self. It assuredly was the ideal thing to do, if 
it could be done. It would, if successful, ac- 
complish more, and with less loss of life, too, 
than any other plan that could be devised. As 
an intellectual feat it awakens our admiration. 

But it was equally remarkable for its audacity. 
The French army was inferior in numbers to its 
opponent. Yet the needs of this plan required 
large detachments, to occupy Milan, guard the 
crossings of the Po, and so forth. When the 
day of battle came, Bonaparte was outnumbered, 
and it was by great good fortune, as well as by 
hard fighting, that he gained the victory. It 
would not be difficult to point out certain not 
improbable combinations and movements on the 
part of the Austrians which would not only have 
rendered his plan abortive, but have forced him 
to retreat over the pass of St. Gothard, where 
the roads were by no means so favorable for ar- 
tillery. Yet of all this he took his risk. Partly, 
no doubt, because the scientific completeness of 
the plan approved it to his intellect and fasci- 
nated his imagination, partly because he esti- 
mated correctly the want of activity of his ene- 
mies, but largely because he was a born gambler 
in war, because he enjoyed taking a great risk, 
fighting a battle in which everything was at 
stake, he adopted this novel, hazardous, but con- 
clusive plan. 


And here we touch upon one of the chief de- 
fects in Napoleon's character. It is evident that 
he had other ends in view in war than the prac- 
tical result to be reached. He wanted to carry 
it on so as to satisfy his sense of the fitness of 
things^ so to speak^ to establish and maintain 
his reputation as a master of the art, or, at any 
rate, to make his campaigns illustrate the grand 
principles of strategy. For these ends, which 
are perfectly legitimate when subordinated to 
the great objects for which war is waged, he 
undoubtedly, in this campaign of Marengo, as 
afterwards in other campaigns, sacrificed a cer- 
tain amount of safety, or, if you please, incurred 
a certain and otherwise unnecessary amount of 
hazard. For this he should, without question, 
be blamed ; no ideal completeness, no possi- 
bility of overwhelming success, however desira- 
ble, should ever be allowed to obscure the clear 
perception of the ultimate practical ends to be 
obtained in war, or to render a jot more difficult 
or hazardous the already hazardous and difficult 
task of a campaign. They are not worth the 
sacrifices which they may cost. Moreau, as we 
have seen, rejected the plan which Napoleon 
proposed to him, of throwing his entire army 
across the Rhine at Schaffhausen, thereby cut- 
ting Kray's communications, and necessitating 
a great battle, in which success, if he gained it, 
would be decisive. Moreau preferred, on the 
other hand, the safer course of manoeuvring in 

^ I 


such a way as to render it extremely unlikely 
that such a decisive action could be had at the 
oiitset of the campaign, but also so as to give 
to him an excellent chance of driving his ad- 
versary from point to point, and thereby in time 
attaining the object of the war. Moreau's 
method was doubtless the more costly in life and 
in time, but it was also unquestionably safer. 
MancBuvring as Moreau did, he was at no time 
exposed to extreme peril ; and although the same 
observation holds true of his adversary, yet it 
may fairly be said that, unless in the presence 
of a most pressing emergency, no general ought 
ever to expose his command to extreme peril. 

Still, while we may justly criticise the tactics 
of Napoleon in this respect, while we may, I 
think, fairly enough regard him as too intent on 
the game of war, considered simply as a game, 
and not mindful enough of the practical ends 
for which alone it is ever justifiable to go to 
war, we shall not do wisely or justly if we adopt 
the extremely harsh tone of such a critic as 
Lanfrey. After all, there is something fine in 
this desire of Napoleon^s to do this work of war 
with ideal completeness ; to let the consider- 
ation of the ultimate results stand aside for the 
moment, and to play the game as it ought to be 
played. And it must be remembered that war 
is a game of hazard, at its best, and that no man 
can be a really good general who does not un- 
derstand the enjoyment of risking a battle. AU 


men of affairs understand this species of enjoy- 
ment ; whether it be the surgeon^ who trusts to 
the success of his newly invented operation; 
or the merchant, who risks his fortune on his 
calculations ; or the master mariner, who trusts 
to the correctness of his dead reckoning when he 
is nearing dangerous ground. All men accus- 
tomed to the management of affairs on any large 
scale will comprehend the trait of character of 
which I have been speaking. In Napoleon, who 
was preeminently a man of affairs, it was un- 
doubtedly exaggerated ; and, holding the posi- 
tion he did, the undue prominence of this fea- 
ture caused many and widespread evils. But 
when you come to sift it down, so to speak, you 
will find you are not dealing with a vicious pro- 
pensity, calling for moral indignation. You 
may, if you like, have that sort of indignation 
which every one feels when a business man risks 
his fortune in speculation, when an inventor 
gives up his regular business and embarks his 
property in doubtful experiments. But even 
here, you will observe, you may consistently 
admit these rash people to be very worthy men 
in themselves. And you will notice another 
thing, if you think of it, that your indignation 
increases with the amount of egregious folly you 
perceive in the unhappy speculator or inventor, 
while it diminishes or even disappears if the 
foresight of the one or the originality of the 
other is evident beyond a cavil. Therefore I 


submit that we shall not be doing well if we 
join in the reproaches which Lanfrey so forcibly 
hurls at the First Consul for the hazards to 
which he subjected France and her army in this 
campaign of Marengo. Lanfrey was nothing 
but a critic, and probably never experienced the 
joy of the practical man in attempting some- 
thing difficult and hazardous, and succeeding in 
it. Most men with vigorous minds and mascu- 
line temperaments will feel, I think, that they 
can, in a measure at least, understand Napo- 
leon's mind about this his famous campaign of 

Let us now return from this digi-ession. 

I shall not follow the details of the war fur- 
ther. Suffice it to say that peace with Austria 
was concluded at Lun^ville in February, 1801, 
and with England in March, 1802. Our atten- 
tion must now be given to the policy of the First 
Consul at home. 

While the great mass of the nation felt an un- 
mistakable sense of relief from the doubts and 
alarms from which they had so constantly suf- 
fered during the preceding ten years, there were 
two factions who were bitterly opposed to the 
assumption of the supreme power by Napoleon. 
These were, first, the jacobins, and secondly, the 

The jacobins clung to the form and the name 
of the republic. They thought they saw the 
beginnings of the Empire in the Consulate, and 


they were right. Precisely what they expected 
from France, they very likely could not have 
told themselves. It was evident enough that 
the republicans were in a clear minority; and 
where was the republic if the majority of the 
people were not republicans? But however 
illogical may have been the position of the jac- 
obins, they still clung desperately to it. They 
shut their eyes to the facts. They refused to 
admit that the French peasantry cared for the 
republic only because it guaranteed to them 
their newly won liberty and equality, not be- 
cause it gave them the power of casting ballots. 
For this last the people cared very little, and, if 
they reflected on the subject at all, they must 
have observed that the most distinguished apos- 
tles of the natural right of all men to share 
equally in the government of the state had been 
the fiercest and most tyrannical of rulers, when 
it looked as if the people desired a different 
kind of government from that which had been 
designed for them by their liberal leaders. But 
in truth, the masses cared very little for all this' 
sort of thing. It had. never amounted to much 
in their experience ; what rights they had ever 
possessed had been possessed in theory only; 
some Danton, or Robespierre, or deputy of the 
convention, or republican general, had from time 
to time arranged and settled matters for them 
with a high hand ; what had been gained in the 
shape of exemption from peculiar and oppressive 


burdens, and in the extension of equal rights, 
and in the levelling of all distinctions before the 
law, they recognized as the fruits of the Revolu- 
tion, and for these, and only for these they really 
eared. The attitude of the irreconcilable jaco- 
bins, therefore, awakened no popular response. 

The royalists had the advantage, such as it 
was, of knowing precisely what they wanted. 
They had, moreover, in the district known as La 
Vendue, an inexhaustible reservoir of devoted 
adherents of the king. Chouans, Vendeans, 
Bretons, were generally, and often fanatically, 
favorable to the exiled family. Then the sym- 
pathy of all foreign governments was with them. 
Louis the Eighteenth resided at Warsaw. His 
brother, the Comte d'Artois, afterwards Charles 
the Tenth, lived in or near London. The Eng- 
lish government subsidized these unfortunate 
princes, and treated them as handsomely as if 
there had never been a quarrel between the 
House of Brunswick and the House of Bourbon 
touching the expulsion of the Stuarts, or the loss 
of the thirteen colonies. In the mind of the 
English government of that day the House of 
Bourbon stood for law and order, for legitimate 
authority against usurpation, for paternal gov- 
ernment by the natural and God-given ruler, as 
against the tyranny of a soldier risen from the 

The royalist party in France greatly exagger- 
ated the disaffection existing against the Direc- 


tory. They took it to mean a willingness to 
restore the Bourhons. But in putting this inter- 
pretation upon it they were going a great deal 
too far. The irritation against the Directory 
had its causes, which every one could see. But 
those who murmured against the Triumvirs were 
not necessarily favorers of the old rigime. Any 
really strong and respectable government would 
suit them. And such a government it was evi- 
dent they had in the Consulate. 

Filled, however, by the notion that nothing 
but the strong arm of Bonaparte prevented the 
nation from returning en masse to the ancient 
dynasty, some unscrupulous wretches of the roy- 
alist faction hatched the plot which, in Decem- 
ber, 1800, nearly destroyed the life of the First 
Consul by the explosion of what was termed an 
infernal machine. At the time, it was supposed, 
especially by Bonaparte himself, that the authors 
of this outrage were jacobins, and he caused a 
number of the most pronounced of them, some 
of whom had been connected with the excesses 
of the Terror, to be banished. But it was after^ 
wards ascertained that the plot was a royalist 

From time to time during the succeeding three 
years there were rumors of conspiracies, but as 
nothing of importance occurred, it was not un- 
naturally thought that these rumors might have 
their source in the superserviceable brains of an 
over-zealous police. In fact, it was not until the 


peace of Amiens was ^broken in March, 1803, 
that the fonnidable conspiracy of Georges Ca- 
doudal was hatched in England. 

Georges Cadoudal, or Georges, as he is gener- 
ally called, was a Chouan of respectable origin, 
a staunch royalist, of unquestionable fidelity to 
the exiled house, and of inextinguishable hostil- 
ity to the present government of France. He 
was a fanatic of the first rank, ; not a Guiteau, 
yet not unlike John Brown; a man for whom 
personally you could not but feel a certain meas- 
ure of admiration, inasmuch as without any dis- 
cernible admixture of selfish motives, and obvi- 
ously impelled by religious and loyal enthusiasm, 
he undertook the perilous task of restoring the 
monarchy by killing the First Consul. Moreover, 
Georges had his own method of committing his 
intended murder. While he confessed having 
been privy to the plot of three years before, 
though not, as he maintained, to its details, this 
time, at any rate, he would have nothing to do 
with infernal machines. What he hoped to ac- 
complish was, at the head of some of his own 
men, Chouans and fanatics like himself, to set 
upon the First Consul in the streets of Paris, and 
kill him in broad daylight, overcoming by main 
force the resistance of any guard that might be 
attending him. 

While, however, this precious scheme might, 
and very possibly did, impose on the rude mind 
of this ruffian as being in its nature essentially 


different from any ordinary mode of assassina- 
tion, it is plain enough to common-sense people 
that no such difference existed. What Georges 
undertook to accomplish was nothing else than 
the murder of the First Consul. His mode of 
doing it was his own choice ; it may possibly 
have been confounded in his mind with lawful 
warfare ; but no one not a fanatic in the cause 
of the Bourbons, and no one who did not desire 
to be deceived, could possibly be taken in by 
such a monstrous pretence. 

Georges' scheme could not avail itself of the 
excuses which are so often made for political 
assassinations and atrocities. He was no en- 
thusiast in the cause of antislavery, like John 
Brown ; he was no opponent of despotism, like 
the Russian Nihilist. He was a fanatical devo- 
tee of the divine right of kings, and he meant to 
kill this upstart, whose existence, as he doubtless 
believed, was the principal obstacle to the return 
of the Bourbons. 

It needs hardly to be said that such an enter- 
prise as this was one with which no honorable 
man ought to have had anything whatever to 
do. Nor could any foreign government, which 
respected itself, and paid any regard to the most 
ordinary obligations of civilized nations, touch 
such a project without sharing in the infamy 
of murder. Yet nothing is more certain than 
that the Comte d'Artois, afterwards Charles the 
Tenth, was privy to the plot and personally 


conferred with the conspu*ators. And what is 
stranger yet, and far worse, is that the British 
government supplied these assassins with money, 
and sent them over to France in an English ves- 
sel of war, commanded by Captain Wright of 
the Royal Navy. A more flagrant and outrage- 
ous violation of the law of nations, it is safe to 
say, never took place. The discovery, that the 
Bourbon princes were arranging in London the 
details of a conspiracy to effect their own resto- 
ration by the murder of the First Consul, and 
that the assassins were sent over to France in 
English vessels of war, furnished with money by 
the English government, showed Napoleon that 
he was, by the Bourbons and the British gov- 
ernment at least, regarded as an outlaw, that 
no steps were considered too atrocious to get 
rid of him, that the usages and customs which 
obtain among civilized nations, even in time of 
war, were not regarded as applicable to him. 

These facts were ascertained when Georges, 
Riviere, Polignac, Lajolais, and others were ar- 
rested in the winter of 1803 and 1804. And 
so far as I know there is no dispute about 
them. One of the most curious things about 
this conspiracy is the evidently unconscious in- 
difference of English historians to the infamy of 
the part which their government played in this 
affair. It is explicable only when we recollect, 
or rather endeavor to imagine, the enormous 
force of the legitimist prejudice of that day, — • 


a prejudice into which we Americans can hardly, 
even by a violent effort of imagination, bring 
ourselves to enter; a prejudice which makes 
even such a good man as Sir Walter Scott 
quite insensible to the enormity of the conduct 
of the Bourbon princes and the British govern- 
ment in furthering the assassination of Bona- 
parte, while his sense of justice and humanity is 
stirred to its depths by the prompt and terrible 
counterstroke of Napoleon in the seizure and ex- 
ecution of the Due d'Enghien. But so it is. 
Scott is utterly indifferent to the first of these 
acts, for which no plea can be offered ; he ex- 
hausts the vials of his indignation in dealing 
with the other, which had confessedly, apart from 
anything else, the excuse of just provocation 
at an infamous conspiracy, and of reasonable 
grounds for suspicion of the guilt of the duke. 

That you may not think I am exaggerating, I 
am going to let Scott speak for himself. I quote 
from chapter xlvi. : — 

" Meantime, the peace of Amiens being broken, the 
British government, with natural policy, resolved once 
more to avail themselves of the state of public feeling 
in France, and engage the partisans of royalty in a 
fresh attack upon the consular government. ... A 
scheme was in agitation for raising the royalists in 
the west, where the Duke de Berri was to make a 
descent on the coast of Picardy, to favour the insur- 
rection. The Duke d'Enghien, grandson of the Prince 
of Cond^, fixed his residence, under the protection of 
the Margrave of Baden, at the chateau of Ettenheim, 


with the purpose, doubtless, of being ready to put him- 
self at the head of the royalists in the east of France, 
or, if occasion should offer, in Paris itself. . . . Whilst 
the French princes expected on the frontier the effect 
of commotions in the interior of France, Pichegru, 
Georges Cadoudal, and about thirty other royalists of 
the most determined character, were secretly landed 
in France, made their way to the metropolis, and con- 
trived to find lurking-places invisible to the all-seeing 
police. There can be no reason to doubt that a part 
of those agents, and Georges in particular, saw the 
greatest obstacle of their enterprise in the existence 
of Bonaparte, and were resolved to commence by his 
assassination. Pichegru, who was constantly in com- 
pany with Georges, cannot well be supposed ignorant 
of this purpose, though better befitting the fierce chief 
of a band of Chouans than the conqueror of Hol- 

Thus Scott. He was, you know, a contem- 
porary of these events. I think you will agree 
with me that this utter insensibility of his to the 
enormity of the conduct both of the Bourbon 
princes and the British government is one of the 
most significant marks of the times. It shows 
the strength of the aristocratic feeling. Not 
thus would Scott have spoken if Bonaparte had 
landed English rebels bent upon the assassination 
of King George. 

The discovery of this plot plunged France, 
and Paris especially, in a state of excitement that 
had not been known since the days of the Ter- 
ror. The people, who had welcomed Bonaparte 


as their saviour from revolution and reaction, 
who had recognized in him the wise legislator, 
the restorer of the church, the healer of the rev- 
olutionary animosities, were equally amazed and 
enraged at this wanton, this outrageous attack 
upon him, hatched abroad in the interest of 
the Bourbon princes, and supported by the Brit- 
ish government. Meantime the administration 
looked in every direction for the ramifications 
of the plot. The intrigues of Mr. Drake, the 
British resident at Munich in Bavaria, and of 
Mr. Spencer Smith, the British envoy at Stutt- 
gard in WUrtemberg, with the royalists in 
France, had lately come to light and were mak- 
ing a great deal of noise. French officers were 
sent to these countries to examine the state of 
affairs. They reported among other things that 
the Due d'Enghien, the grandson of the Prince 
of Cond^, was living at Ettenheim in Baden, a 
few miles only from the Rhine, surrounded with 
a little court of French emigres^ that he was in 
correspondence with the disaffected in France, 
and that his frequent and protracted absences 
from home gave good grounds for the suspicion 
that he occasionally crossed the border on politi- 
cal errands. No sooner did these reports reach 
the First Consul than he sent two officers, each 
heading a small detachment, into Baden, one to 
seize the duke and his retinue, the other to carry 
to the Margrave the apology of the French 
government for taking such a step. The Due 


d'Enghien with all his suite, was seized on the 
night o£ Thursday the 15th o£ March, 1804, and 
carried immediately to Strasburg. Here he was 
kept a couple o£ days ; on Sunday morning he 
was brought alone to Paris, and carried to the 
castle o£ Vincennes, near Paris, where he arrived 
on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 20, 1804. 
The same night he was brought before a court- 
martial, accused first, of having borne arms 
against France, secondly, of having been and 
now being in the pay of England, and thirdly, 
of being a party to the conspiracy against the 
republic ; was convicted on the first two charges 
on his own admissions, and on the third also, 
though on what evidence does not clearly ap- 
pear; was sentenced to death; was shot at six 
o'clock on the morning of the 21st, in the ditch 
surrounding the castle ; and was buried where 
he fell. 

This summary proceeding has always excited 
the severest criticism. Much of this is evidently 
based on the respect felt for the high rank of the 
unfortunate nobleman. We see plenty of this 
feeling in the pages of Scott, and in the me- 
moirs of Madame de Remusat, whose sympathies 
were all with the old regime. But the First 
Consul has been severely blamed by other histo- 
rians, with whom this sentimental consideration 
has little or no weight. Bonaparte is accused of 
having executed an innocent man merely in 
order to strike terror into the ranks of his ene- 


mies. He is practically accused of having com- 
mitted a counter-assassination. Let us see. 

If the Prince really was, as Sir Walter Scott 
thinks he was, staying on the horder *^ with the 
purpose," as Scott declares, " of being ready to 
put himself at the head of the royalists in the 
east of France, or, if- occasion should offer, in 
Paris itself," it was, in my judgment, no crime 
to take him and shoot him. If that was the 
fact, the duke was virtually particeps criminis. 
He may have been, and no doubt was, ignorant 
of the mode employed to upset the consular 
government ; but it is not to be suffered for an 
instant that a man should be allowed to escape 
merely because he chooses not to know the de- 
tails of the plans of the villains, of whose suc- 
cess he has arranged to take instant advantage. 
The man who is waiting in the street, ready to 
enter a house as soon as he shall hear from the 
bolder rufiBans who have committed the bur- 
glary that the coast is clear, can hardly be con- 
sidered legally or morally free from the guilt of 
the murder which he finds, on entering, they 
have committed. It will not do for him to 
plead ignorance of their methods or precise in- 
tentions. He cannot place himself in the situa- 
tion of one who accidentally profits by the mur- 
der, as would, for instance, the devisees in the 
wiU of the murdered man. He has distinctly 
participated, for he has placed himself in the 
street in order to take advantage of the doings 
in the house. 


Now, if you will imagine an_ outrage of this 
character perpetrated in a country where there 
are no tribunals before whom the man in the 
street can be brought, and by whom the house- 
holder can be protected, you have the case of 
Bonaparte and the Due d'Enghien in a nutshell, 
— that is, if the Due was actually at Ettenheim 
for the purpose of crossing the border as soon 
as he should get word from Paris that the time 
had come. It is amazing to me how Sir Walter 
Scott can say, as he does, that the duke's resid- 
ing " at Ettenheim in the expectation of having 
soon a part of importance to play in France" 
was "perfectly vindicated by his situation and 
connections." To my thinking, if Bonaparte 
believed he was there with any such expectation, 
he was justified in arresting him, and if, on the 
trial, or outside of it, it was found that this was 
the fact, he was justified in executing him. 

Bonaparte unquestionably believed, when he 
arrested the Due d'Enghien, that he was resid- 
ing at Ettenheim in full communication with the 
disaffected royalists, and in daily expectation 
of being able to cross the Rhine as soon as he 
should hear that he, Bonaparte, had been dis- 
posed of. No one, I suppose, doubts that this 
was Bonaparte's belief when he ordered the ar- 
rest. To this effect had been the reports of the 
ofl&cers sent to inquire concerning the duke's 
surroundings and doings. 

I think, therefore, that the First Consul was 


fully warranted in seizing him. True, to do this 
it was necessary to violate the territory of Baden. 
But this was the affair of the Margrave, and was 
easily arranged. Besides, in a crisis of this sort, 
no man, not a fool, would have been deterred by 
any consideration of this nature. 

The main question does not concern the ar- 
rest ; it is whether the execution was justifiable. ' 

As regards the proceedings of the court-mar- 
tial, it is to be said that this body was consti- 
tuted in the ordinary way. It was not a packed 
court. Brigadier-General Hulin was the presi- 
dent, by virtue of seniority. There were five 
colonels of regiments in Paris, and one captain, 
on the court. Another captaiq assisted as re- 
corder. They were convened in a great hurry, 
had no previous conferences with each other, and 
did not know in the least whom they were to try. 

Our knowledge of what took place is singu- 
larly small. The official records, with the ex- 
ception of the sentence, have been stolen from 
the archives of the War Department. We have, 
it is true, a draft of the record, made by the 
president of the court-martial for his own use, 
and no doubt it is substantially correct as far 
as it goes, but it does not contain copies of 
the letters and other papers which Hulin says 
were annexed to the record. Savary, afterwards 
Due de Rovigo, who commanded the temporary 
garrison of the castle of Vincennes, tells us 
that all the documeutary evidence against Marie 


Antoinette was stolen in the first days of the 
Restoration, in 1814, from the archives of the 
Bureau of Justice, and it may be, as Savary be- 
lieves was the case, that for some similar reason 
the archives of the War Department were rifled 
by the friends of the Due d'Enghien. Be this as 
it may, however, we are not certain by any means 
that we have a complete record of the proceed- 

This matter becomes important for this reason. 
Savary, who was present at the trial, tells us 
that, at the close of the interrogatories, one of 
the members of the court remarked to the pris- 
oner, that it was scarcely probable that he was as 
completely ignorant as he had said that he was 
of what was passing in France ; that he would 
hardly succeed in making them believe that he 
was entirely indifferent to events of which the 
consequences were so important for him ; and 
that he had better reflect on the matter before 
replying. The duke, says Savary, after a mo- 
ment's silence, replied gravely that he understood 
perfectly well what was meant ; that it had not 
been his intention to remain indifferent to what 
was going on ; that he had asked to be permit- 
ted to serve in the English army ; that he had 
been told that this could not be, but that he was 
to remain on the Rhine where he would soon 
have a part^ to play ; and for this he was wait- 
ing. Savary says that this was the Prince's pre- 
cise reply ; and that he wrote it down at the time. 


It is on this reply that Scott bases his state- 
ment about the duke's purpose in staying at 
Ettenheim. Its authenticity rests on the single 
word of Savary. Neither General Hulin's copies 
of the minutes, nor his pamphlet published in 
1824, contain any mention of it. Still, it seems 
clear, from Savary's account, that the remark of 
the ofl&cer was not in the nature of a formal in- 
terrogatory to the accused, but that it was made 
after the evidence, which, by the way, seems to 
have consisted entirely of the defendant's admis* 
sions, was in ; that it was put informally, and by 
way of giving the prisoner an opportunity to say 
a word in mitigation of the sentence, and was not 
a part of the trial, properly so called. If this 
was so, and it certainly looks like it, the absence 
of the statement and reply from the report of 
the trial are accounted for. 

The members of the court-martial had no 
choice but to find the prisoner guilty on the 
first two charges. The law was clear ; and as 
regards the prisoner's having fought and stiU 
desiring to fight against France, and his being 
in the pay of England, his own avowals were ex- 
plicit. As regards his connection with the exist- 
ing conspiracies, he certainly did not admit as 
much as this, but he frankly stated, if we are 
to believe Savary, and I think there is no reason 
why we should not, that he was on the Rhine 
waiting for his part to begin. 

But, — and this is by far the more interesting 


and important question, — why did Bonaparte 
send the duke before a court which could not 
but find him guilty and sentence him to death ? 

Certainly not because Bonaparte wished to 
punish him for having fought against the re- 
public ; no one has ever pretended this. 

Was it, then, as so many have supposed, an 
act done solely to strike terror into the hearts of 
the Bourbon princes, and without any evidence 
showing the complicity of the duke with the 
plots of the royalists ? 

I think not ; I think that Bonaparte had evi- 
dence before him which convinced him that the 
duke was cognizant of the exist^ce of a royal- 
ist conspiracy, and was residing near the border 
in the hope of being soon called upon to take an 
active part in affairs. I am not now referring to 
the duke's avowal at the trial, of which Savary 
informs us. Bonaparte, of course, never heard 
of this till after the execution. I refer to the 
duke's papers, which were seized at Ettenheim 
when he was arrested. The mistake most histo- 
rians have made is to look solely to the trial for 
the evidence on which the duke was put to 
death : the real question is. Why was he tried? 
To get light on this we must look in a wholly 
different direction. 

That there were some papers seized at Etten- 
heim, we know, for we have the duke's own 
journal containing a narrative of his arrest, and 
of his being carried to Strasburg. On the 15th 


of March; the day of his arrest at Ettenheim, he 
says : ^^ My papers were carried off and sealed 
up." On the 16th he says: "At half past 
four, they come to examine my papers, which 
Colonel Chariot, accompanied hy a commissary 
of safety, opens in my presence. They read 
them superficially. They do them up in sepa- 
rate hundles, and leave me to understand that 
they are to be sent to Paris." On the 17th he 
says : " They come to get me to sign the proems- 
verbal of the opening of my papers. I demand 
and obtain to add to it an explanatory note, to 
prove that I have never had other intentions 
than to serve in and make war." 

Now, if the duke's papers contained nothing 
of a suspicious or compromising nature, why did 
he accompany them with this note? If they 
did not contain something that indicated pretty 
clearly his being implicated in some doings that 
could by no means fall under the head of open 
warfare, why did the duke append this explan- 
atory note, that he never had any other inten- 
tions than to serve in and make war ? Or, may 
we not at any rate fairly infer that these papers 
contained evidence of somebody else's intentions 
to embark in enterprises that were very different 
from honorable warfare, and that the duke was 
anxious to clear his skirts of the connection ? 
Something of this kind, depend upon it, induced 
the duke to ask permission to add this explana- 
tory note to the proems-verbal of his papers. 


But this is not all. On the 18th of March, 
Napoleon had the papers. On that day we find 
him writing to Talleyrand about the behavior 
at Vienna of a certain man mentioned in them, 
and on the 19th, the day before the court-mar- 
tial was ordered, we find Napoleon sending the 
papers to R^al, one of the Council of State, who 
was afterwards charged with the examination of 
the prisoner. (I need hardly remind my read- 
ers that in the whole matter of criminal proce- 
dure, the French method is a wholly different 
one from that prescribed by the common law.) 

On the next day, the 20th, the First Consul 
decrees that the duke should be brought before 
a court-martial, and he also writes a long letter 
to R^al, which the latter receives that evening, 
ordering him to go to Vincennes at once, and 
giving him eleven points on which he wishes him 
to have the duke examined. I will give one or 
two of these questions : " 5. Have you not pro- 
posed to raise a legion, and to cause the troops 
of the republic to desert, in sajring that your so- 
journ for two years near the frontier had put 
you in the way of having an understanding with 
the troops stationed on the Rhine? ... 8. 
What correspondence is this that you have with 
people in Alsace ? And what is this that you 
have with people in Paris ? What is this that 
you have with people in Br^da and in the army 
of Holland?" 

These are questions contained in a letter which 


Napoleon sent to the councillor of state, whom 
he had charged with the examination of the 
duke. They are not statements made in an 
apology for the execution of the duke. They 
are not contained in a manifesto of any kind. 
The letter in which they are to be found was 
never intended to reach the public eye, and was 
published, I believe, for the first time, in 1865. 
These are points in regard to which Napoleon, 
after he had read the duke's correspondence, de- 
sired the duke to be questioned. These ques- 
tions are manifestly framed after reading that 
correspondence. There can, I submit, be no 
reasonable doubt that some of the letters found 
at Ettenheim came from Alsace, Paris, Br^da, 
from ofBcers in the army in Holland ; that in 
some of these letters reference is made to letters 
received from the duke, in which he had said 
something about his sojourn near the Rhine for 
two years having enabled him to have an under- 
standing with some of the French officers sta- 
tioned in that neighborhood, that he thought he 
could induce the troops to desert, and so forth. 
No one can believe that Napoleon, writing to 
R^al, after having read the duke's papers, in- 
vented out of his own head the subject-matter of 
these questions. It was with reference to the 
contents -of those letters that the duke appended 
that explanatory note to the proch-verhal of his 
papers, for the duke says so himself ; and from 
the questions framed by Bonaparte after he had 


examined the papers, we can get a pretty good 
notion of the duke's motive in so doing. 

But we are not left in this matter to mere in- 
ference. The Count Miot de Melito, who was 
also one of the Council of State, and was espe- 
cially charged with investigating the charges 
against Moreau, states in his memoirs that among 
the papers seized at Ettenheim was "a list of 
persons in France on whom the duke might have 
relied. This list," he says, " was said to contain 
the names of certain councillors of state, such as 
Barb^-Marbois, Simeon, Portalis, and others. It 
has been proved by subsequent events that these 
imputations were not unfounded ; it is therefore 
all the more remarkable that no injury resulted 
from them to the persons involved. They con- 
tinued to enjoy Bonaparte's favor, and to serve 
him as long as his power lasted." Melito also 
gives us Bonaparte's explanation, made a few 
days after the affair, to the Council of State, in 
which he says : " It will be seen by the papers 
we have seized that he (the duke) had established 
himself at Ettenheim so as to carry on a corre- 
spondence with the interior of France." 

One other thing may be mentioned in this 
connection. When the duke signed the proces- 
verbal of his evidence at the trial, for by French 
law his own evidence is read to the accused, and 
he signifies his admission that it is correctly re- 
ported by signing the document, he wrote an ur- 
gent demand that he might be permitted to have 


a private audience with the First Consul. There 
was^ therefore^ unquestionably something to be 
explained; not that any of the facts which he 
had so frankly admitted at the trial about his 
participation in the wars against the republic, or 
his having been in the receipt of an allowance 
from England, needed or were capable of an 
explanation; still less can wc suppose that he 
wished to humiliate himself before the man whom 
he considered a usurper, and implore his par- 
don. No ; there was evidently something which 
weighed on his mind, something in the papers 
which had been seized that looked as if he had 
entertained projects which were not those of 
honorable warfare ; and he wanted to see Bona- 
parte and explain this. Probably, what the duke 
wanted to say was that his own personal share 
in the enterprises disclosed by the papers was to 
be a purely military one, and no doubt this was 
true. Nevertheless, if he resided at Ettenheim 
rather than in London, for instance, in order, as 
his correspondence seems to indicate, that he 
might act with certain advantages, when the 
time should come for him to act, he had, in 
fact, made his arrangements to profit by the 
conspiracy of Georges, ignorant as he preferred 
to remain of its methods. 

Accordingly, I cannot doubt that Bonaparte, 
who examined the papers found at Ettenheim 
before the duke's arrival in Paris, found quite 
enough in them to satisfy him that the duke had 


been cognizant of all sorts of political intrigues 
in France; that he was in correspondence with 
disaffected persons, and was preparing to play 
his part when his way should be made clear. He 
therefore had him brought before a court-mar- 
tial, and ordered one of the members of the 
Council of State to charge himself with the ex- 
amination of the prisoner on the points raised by 
an inspection of his papers. 

We come now to the only really obscure thing 
in this whole matter. How did it happen that 
the trial and execution were hurried through 
with such precipitation that the First Consul's 
intentions as to the examination of the duke 
were not carried out? Why did not R^al ar- 
rive in season to propound to the duke the inter- 
rogatories which the First Consul had so care- 
fully drawn up ? or rather, as the First Consul 
points out in his letter to Jl^al, to instruct the 
officer who would act as judge-advocate to put 
the questions, R^al being unable, as being a ci- 
vilian, to take part in the proceedings ? Why was 
not this done? It seems perfectly clear that 
Bonaparte expected the questions, which he had 
prepared, to be put, and he no doubt expected to 
get something out of them. But at eight o'clock 
in the morning. Colonel Savary, on his way to 
Paris, meets Councillor R^al, — who had the 
evening before, received the First Consul's letter, 
— with the list of questions in his pocket, and, 
probably, the duke's papers also, ready to hold a 


consultation with the judge-advocate, and see 
that the information which the First Consul ex- 
pected to extract from the prisoner was obtained, 
if possible. 

The amazement of R6al on hearing of the 
duke's execution was so great that Savary, as he 
tells us, determined to go straight to Malmaison 
without going home first, and tell Bonaparte at 
once what had occurred. The First Consul was 
equally astounded, and told Savary that there 
was something in the matter that he could not 
understand ; not that the court should have con- 
demned the duke upon his own admissions, but 
that the trial should have taken place before 
R^al had had the duke interrogated. 

That Murat, then military governor of Paris, 
was to a certain extent responsible for the pre- 
cipitate action of the court-martial, seems very 
probable. His order appointing the court-mar- 
tial contains every justification for haste. " Cette 
commission se r^unira sur-le-champ au chateau 
de Vincennes, pour y juger, sans d^semparer, le 

But this is not enough of itself. After the 
trial, the proceedings ought to have been sent to 
Murat for approval. This was not done. Hulin, 
the president of the court, says that the court 
had no purpose of carrying out the sentence im- 
mediately ; that he supposed the proceedings 
were to be sent, as was customary, to the proper 
authorities. He evidently thought Savary was 


responsible for the promptitude with which the 
sentence was carried out. But in this opinion he 
was mistaken. All that Savary did was to fur- 
nish the detail of men to carry out the sentence, 
when requested to do so by the judge-advocate. 
The real truth seems to have been that the 
members of the court were, as General Hulin 
says, entirely ignorant of law, and the judge- 
advocate and recorder had had hardly more expe- 
rience than the rest. The first draft of proceed- 
ings, which was signed by the seven of&cers who 
constituted the court, contained the following 
sentence : " Ordonne que le present jugement 
sera execute de suite, h la diligence du capitaine- 
rapporteur." The judge-advocate (capitaine-rap- 
porteur) conceived himself bound to carry out 
the sentence at once, and he asked and obtained 
from Savary, as has been said, a detail for the 
purpose. It seems to me more likely that this 
extreme haste was due to the fact that the words 
" de suite " slipped unobserved into the sentence, 
than that it was the result of any more occult 
cause. In fact, this first draft of the record is 
full of imperfections of various kinds. But I do 
not find any evidence whatever tending to show 
that Bonaparte was in any way responsible either 
for the trial having taken place on the night of 
the 20th and 21st, or for the execution of the 
sentence before it had been sent to the proper 
authorities for revision and approval. On the 
contrary, there is every reason to believe that 


the First Consul expected that the trial would 
not take place till the morning of the 2l8t« 
And there is no evidence, one way or the other, 
as to his intentions in regard to following up 
any such sentence by the execution of the duke. 
The truth seems to be, the Due d'Enghien was 
tried and executed with a promptitude that was 
entirely unexpected to the First Consul ; and, 
although he preferred to assimie the responsi- 
bility for the act, no one has a right to say 
what would have been the duke's fate had not 
Bonaparte's decision been thus anticipated. 



The conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal and the 
execution of the Due d'Enghien occupied a large 
portion of the last lecture ; nevertheless, I can- 
not dismiss the subject without a few words 
more. Georges and a few of the chief leaders 
were executed; but the First Consul pardoned 
several whose guilt was confessed. There was 
not only no indiscriminate severity, but there 
was a great deal of leniency shown in dealing 
with the authors and abettors of this plot. Mo- 
reau, who was proved to have had interviews 
with Pichegru, whose association with Georges 
was admitted, was brought to trial, and sen- 
tenced to two years' imprisonment. It was a 
light sentence, certainly, but the First Consul 
gladly commuted it to exile, and, by purchasing 
Moreau's house for a round sum, placed it within 
his power to live as became a man who had ren- 
dered such distinguished service to his country. 
The execution of the Due d'Enghien stopped 
further royalist plots. The Bourbons perceived 
that the new chief of the French nation was not 
a man against whom it was safe to conspire. 


We must return for a while to the domestic 
policy of the new government. This was a 
course confessedly energetic, wise, liberal, and 
conciliatory. Bonaparte found the finances in 
extreme disorder; it was difficult to raise the 
money needed for the army. But if there was 
one subject which Bonaparte understood better 
than another, it was finance ; his vigorous intel- 
lect enjoyed mastering those problems of econ- 
omy which have always been so attractive to 
great statesmen. Assisted by the best talent he 
could procure, he initiated a series of changes 
which at once stopped the leaks, and laid all 
the resources of the country under fair and equal 
contribution. The funds rose in value ; the world 
of business recognized very clearly that affairs 
were now in the hands of a business man, and a 
man, too, of first-rate business capacity. 

Yet it is hard to satisfy some men. Lanfrey, 
whose perverse ingenuity is rather severely taxed 
on this occasion, in speaking of Bonaparte's 
"decided preference for upright administration," 
asks, " what can be more skilful than the em- 
ployment of honest agents in a crooked policy ? " 
This is, by the way, not an unfair specimen of 
Lanfrey's method in dealing with facts; he is 
an adept at throwing out an insinuation so skil- 
fully that the careless reader will swallow it as if 
it were propounded to him as a fact. Here, for 
instance, Lanfrey is dealing with Bonaparte's 
admitted preference in his administration for 


honest men. But the suggestion of the crooked 
policy positively has the eflfect of making us think 
there is almost something culpable in preferring 
honest to dishonest men. But what is the jus- 
tification of this suggestion ? Absolutely none. 
The work which Bonaparte's cabinet were to per- 
form was straightforward hard work in all the 
departments of government ; there was nothing 
crooked about it at all; and Lanfrey knew it. 
France was in a state of administrative disorder ; 
the finances, especially, needed attention; the 
law regulating assessment of land, which formed 
the basis of one of the principal taxes, was very 
defective; the schools and universities needed 
supervision ; there was a great deal of hard and 
faithful work to be done, and it was done by 
these honest and capable and laborious men 
whom the First Consul called about him; and 
Lanfrey gives them credit for it too. Yet he 
throws out the slur about " a crooked policy " to 
prevent his victim from having even the merit 
accorded to him of having selected these worthy 
men for their several tasks. Why does he thus 
go out of his way to asperse the motives of 
Napoleon? In other words, why this virulent 
hatred of Napoleon ? Because Lanfrey and all 
his school confuse political rights with political 
and legal liberties ; they do not see that it was 
the latter only that had been conferred by the 
Revolution, and that the granting of political 
rights by the decrees of the National Assembly 


did not result in the possession and exercise of 
political power by the French people, who were 
as despotically governed from 1792 to 1799 as 
either before or after that date. Lanfrey and his 
school accordingly detest Napoleon because of his 
assumption of the supreme authority, forgetting 
that, in assuming it, he deprived the people of no 
political power that they then were exercising, or 
ever had exercised ; that to them the Eighteenth 
of Brumaire meant merely a change of masters, 
a change from men who were cordially detested 
and distrusted, to a man whom every one ad- 
mired, and in whom everybody placed confidence. 
Excuse this digression upon Lanfrey : but I am 
' very anxious to make this part of my subject 
perfectly clear, and for this purpose I cannot do 
better than to show where this historian, writ- 
ing from the extreme republican standpoint, has 
fallen into grave error. 

The most important measure of the Consulate 
was undoubtedly the Code Napoleon. No other 
work of Napoleon's will live as long as this. It 
is to day the framework of law in France, Hol- 
land, Belgium, western Germany, Switzerland, 
and Italy. In France it replaced a chaos of laws 
and decrees, and welded the old legislation which 
was worth retaining with the new improvements 
of the revolutionary epoch. 

The importance of the share taken by Napo- 
leon in this matter of the Code is not to be meas- 
ured by the legal learning, or even by the prac- 


tical common sense, which he contributed to its 
provisions. Without a doubt, the credit of com- 
bining into a consistent whole the immense mass 
of law and custom which had to be considered 
and sifted, belongs to the eminent jurists whom 
the First Consul employed in the work. Napo- 
leon very likely made many valuable sugges- 
tions ; it is certain that when it was necessary to 
come to a decision, his clear mind, instructed by 
the discussions of his counsellors, found little 
difficulty in arriving at the right conclusion, and 
it is equally certain that he permitted no unnec- 
essary loss of time in announcing the decision 
at which he had arrived. But however valuable 
his contributions may have been to the composi- 
tion and structure of the Code, it is not in this 
direction chiefly that we are to look, if we would 
find the great service which he rendered to his 
country in this matter. It is rather to the fact 
that he saw at once on his accession to power 
that such a measure was absolutely necessary to 
consolidate the newly acquired benefits which 
the Revolution had conferred on the French peo- 
ple ; and that, military man though he was, he 
carried through with promptitude, wisdom, and 
energy this gigantic task to a speedy termination. 
It was not that he was the first man who had 
thought that a codification of the laws would be 
desirable ; the subject had been broached for fifty 
years, and in fact the work had been planned by 
the decrees of the convention. It was not that 


he was the first among rulers actually to set 
about a codificatiou of the laws; this may be 
true, but it is also true that a measure of this 
sort was more obviously desirable, in the condi- 
tion in which he found France, than any similar 
undertaking could have appeared to the rulers of 
countries which had escaped the disorganization 
incident to a revolution, and into which the new 
system had not yet gained an entrance. But 
what he is to be credited with is this : with hav- 
ing taken at once the true view of the needs of 
France in this regard, — the true view, the view 
which a real statesman would take ; and, further- 
more, with having, promptly and persistently, 
and at a very considerable expense to himself of 
time taken from other and perhaps more congen- 
ial duties, and of labor for which neither his 
education nor his habitual occupation had fitted 
him, pushed the work through to an eminently 
satisfactory conclusion. 

This task was undertaken by Napoleon in the 
spirit and with the energy which belonged to 
him as a first-rate man of affairs. His appreci- 
ation of its importance showed him to be far 
more than a mere soldier, in fact, to be a great 
statesman ; and it is not unlikely that his name 
will be more widely known through the Code 
Napoleon than by the lustre of his victories. It 
was a work of which he was always very proud ; 
he always spoke of it as one of the principal 
labors of his life. And it is morally certain 


that, had it not been for the systematic arrange- 
ment and codification of the legal results of the 
great liberal movement through which France 
had just passed, and for the ten years, from 
1804 to 1814, during which the Code was the 
law of the land, entering into and determining 
the public and private relations of the French 
people, becoming to them a rule of justice and a 
priceless possession, the restoration of the Bour- 
bons would have swept away most of the reforms 
of the revolutionary period. It is. equally cer- 
tain, as we shall ere long have occasion to ob- 
serve, that the Code became in the hands of 
Napoleon a sure and a most convenient means 
of introducing the new system into the German 
and Italian possessions which afterwards came 
under the dominion of the Empire. 

Another measure of the Consulate was the 
Concordat, which reestablished the Roman Cath- 
olic Church in France under the protection of 
government, much as the Church of England is 
established in that country. This important step 
was not taken without meeting with violent and 
sincere opposition on the part of most of the 
prominent men who had supported the Revolu- 
tion. It seemed to them a step backwards. It 
was true that all reUgions were to be freely toler- 
ated, as much as they ever had been, or are to- 
day. But the political character of the Roman 
Church, the danger that the allegiance due from 
its members to a potentate independent of France 


might in some way conflict with the obligations 
of its powerful ojBBcers to obey the laws of the 
land^ the opinion held by very many in the 
France of that day as it was then and is now 
held by nearly everybody in the United States, 
that civil government has no concern whatever 
with church establishments, all these considera- 
tions were urged against the First Consul's pro- 
ject. And there was undoubtedly force in these 
arguments. Yet I am incHned to think that 
Bonaparte did wisely in giving to what he termed 
" the church of the majority of the French peo- 
ple " the inestimable advantage of public recog- 
nition and support. France was not far enough 
advanced in her education, that is, the masses of 
her people were not, to make it safe to rely solely 
on the voluntary system. The alternative was 
either the restoration of the Roman Catholic 
Church, or leaving France without the regular 
institutions of Christianity. He chose wisely, I 
think, in taking the former of these courses. 

In his negotiation with the Pope, he held out 
for state nominations to important posts in the 
church, and for a strict regulation by the gov- 
ernment of ecclesiastical institutions. But his 
system was too artificial ; he did not thoroughly 
understand the subject ; he gave more power to 
the bishops over the clergy than they had been 
hitherto possessed of ; but his new bishops were 
not the important functionaries of state that the 
bishops of the old regime had been; they not 


only had no political power, but their doings 
and sayings were closely watched by a not very 
friendly government-superior; they fell back upon 
their purely spiritual powers, and hence upon the 
Bishop of Rome, becoming with each decade less 
Gallican and more Ultramontane. But, for all 
this, the restoration of the Catholic Church was, 
as it seems to me, an almost indispensable step 
in the then demoralized condition of France. 

One more step remained to be taken, — one 
more change in the form of government to be 
made, — that from the Republic to the Empire. 
But how much did this change amount to ? It 
certainly did not carry with it any alteration in 
the laws which affected life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness, to use the words of the 
immortal Declaration. The great fundamental 
changes for the better which the Revolution had 
wrought in the condition of the people of France 
were not in the remotest degree affected. In 
truth, the nation demanded the change, because 
it believed that the great benefits which the 
Revolution had conferred would in the then ex- 
isting state of public feeling in France, in the 
stage of political development at which the 
French people had then arrived, and in the face 
of the unmistakable and unscrupulous hostihty 
which the success of the new order of things in 
France had evoked throughout aristocratic and 
legitimist Europe, be more secure under a liberal 
monarch like Napoleon than under the forms of 


a republic. And it is certainly not for the re- 
publican theorist to quarrel with the wish of the 
people. Sad and deplorable as it may seem to 
such a man that his country^ at a certain stage 
of its history, should care less about further 
experiments in self-government than about pro- 
tection by a strong arm from foreign attacks 
and domestic conspiracies, yet, if the fact be so, 
he, as a professed republican, ought to bow to 
the will of the people. But, without troubling 
ourselves further, as we easily might, to imprison 
our republican philosopher in the web of his 
own construction, we cannot repress a smile at 
the unhappy Lanfrey, who finds his people so 
far below the level of what he considers manly 
pride in their beloved republic. It is necessary 
for Lanfrey to ride two horses in his discussion 
of this subject ; when on one horse he assumes 
that the people desire the Republic, that the 
Empire is forced upon them. When upon the 
other, he bewails the actual fact : " France," 
he says, " was passive and subdued ; she had 
no longer either will or opinion, she was credu- 
lous and ignorant." It never seems to occur 
to him, that if the people of a country are pas- 
sive and subdued, ignorant and credulous, have 
neither opinion nor will of their own, they cer- 
tainly are not fit to run a republic. Such a 
people are sure to have somebody to govern 
them, and whether it be four or five Directors, or 
two or three Consuls, or an Emperor, it matters 


little. But there is no need to make the foolish 
lamentations in which Lanfrey and his school 
indulge when they speak of the Empire. The 
people of France had advanced in the Revolu- 
tion one stage, and that a very important one, in 
their political development; they were not at 
that time ready to advance the remaining steps ; 
what they had done was, they felt, and very 
rightly too, quite enough for one generation ; 
and they had grave reason to be alarmed at the 
foreign and domestic hostility which seemed to be 
awakened everywhere and to threaten seriously 
their ability to retain what they had gained. 
They knew perfectly well what they were about ; 
in fact, it was the Empire which not only con- 
solidated and preserved for France the great re- 
forms of the Revolution, but by extending them 
into the neighboring countries, prevented France 
from being left alone in her experiment with the 
new system, gained for her hearty and intelligent 
allies, and, in spite of the terrible mistakes which 
the new Emperor made in the later years of his 
rule, shattered the power of the old system 
throughout a great part of Europe, and rendered 
the triumph of the reaction when it came, in 
1814, a far less serious and important matter 
than it would have been had it occurred fifteen 
years before. 

In dealing with the subject which these words 
naturally introduce, — the foreign relations of 
the Empire of Napoleon, — it is not my purpose 


to weary you with an attempt at a connected and 
full narrative. We have not time for anything 
of that sort. All we can do is to get some gen- 
eral notion of Napoleon's policy, its purposes, 
and its results. 

The peace of Lun^ville, which followed the 
campaign of Marengo, not only secured the with- 
di'awal of the Austrian influence in Northern 
Italy, but left Piedmont and the republics which 
had recently been organized out of Lombardy 
and some of the lesser states, under the influence 
and protection of France. As a natural conse- 
quence. Piedmont was annexed to France, and 
the new republics were united in one, under the 
presidency of Bonaparte himself. As regards 
Germany, the territory on the left bank of the 
Ehine was given up to France. Her acquisitions 
in Belgium and her protectorate over Holland 
were also sanctioned. More than this, France 
was by the sama treaty admitted to share in the 
negotiations which the recent changes had ren- 
dered necessary in the Holy Roman or German 
Empire, of which the Emperor of Austria was 
the head, which at that time, it will be remem- 
bered, still existed ; and it needs hardly to be said 
that France exercised her full share in the deci- 
sions which were arrived at by the Diet. In his 
general policy, Napoleon took the natural course 
of furthering the interests of the south German 
states, which had for centuries, as a rule, had 
France for a friend and ally in their intermlna- 


ble quarrels with the House of Hapsburg. The 
influence of France was also exerted in favor of 
the extinguishment of the petty principalities, of 
the suppression of the (so called) free cities, of 
the secularization of the enormous possessions of 
the Roman CathoHc Church. In these changes, 
every one of which was a beneficial change for 
the people, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and Baden re- 
ceived great accessions of territory, and, what 
was very important for Napoleon, were brought 
under the influence of France, both as regarded 
their internal and external relations. On the 
one hand, they were attracted to follow in the 
steps of France, to abolish the antiquated abuses 
and inequalities which survived to such a de- 
plorable extent throughout Germany, and to in- 
troduce the administrative efficiency and simpli- 
city which they saw prevailing in their neighbor's 
territories ; and on the other, by taking these 
very steps in the direction of reform, they were 
separating themselves still further from the reac- 
tionary policy of which their nominal superior, 
the Emperor of Germany, was the chief repre- 

For thus exerting his influence in these 
schemes for the reorganization of Germany, Na- 
poleon has been severely blamed by those who 
bow down to the newly invented deity of Ger- 
man nationality. Take an illustration. Among 
the antiquated nuisances that were abated by 
Bavaria and the other states of western Ger- 


many, when, iinder the impulse of France, they 
entered upon the path of reform, was the Order 
of the Knights of the Empire. These gentlemen 
lived upon certain vexatious imposts, and enjoyed 
a sort of irregular and anomalous jurisdiction 
over their neighbors. To abolish their privileges 
was a manifest gain for the cause of good ad- 
ministration. One of these chevaliers was the 
celebrated Stein, afterwards, as minister of Prus- 
sia, the great organizer of the German uprising 
of 1813 against the Empire of Napoleon. Stein 
told the Duke of Nassau that he was protected 
by the same laws of the Empire that the duke 
was, and that he and the other petty princes had 
much better attach themselves to the two great 
monarchies of Austria and Prussia than be fol- 
lowing foreign counsels in abolishing vested 
rights like his. With such a position I have no 
sympathy. As I stated in my first lecture, the 
vital question for continental Europe at that 
time was not a question of political rights, but of 
personal liberty, of equality before the law, of 
religious toleration, of the continuance or the 
aboUtion of a host of anomalous and oppressive 
privileges that lay like a burden upon the trade 
of the bourgeois and the labor of the peasant. 
But there is another way of looking at these 
questions. I have before me a valuable contri- 
bution to the history of these times, Fyffe's 
" Modern Europe.'' Mr. Fyffe says, " that the 
consolidation of Germany should be worked out 


in the interest of French hirelings, instead of in 
the interest of the German people, was justly 
treated by Stein as a subject for patriotic anger." 
Let us examine this assertion a little. 

Mr. Fyffe tells us, in regard to the sovereign- 
ties of the ecclesiastics and the free cities, 
which were both suppressed in this reorganiza- 
tion, that " the internal condition of the priest- 
ruled districts was generally wretched ; heavy ig- 
norance, beggary, and intolerance kept life down 
to an inert monotony ; " that " the free cities, 
as a rule, were sunk in debt ; the management of 
their affairs had become the perquisite of a few 
lawyers and privileged families ; " and that " for 
Germany as a nation the destruction of these 
petty sovereignties was not only an advantage, 
but an absolute necessity." If this be a true 
picture of the state of the case, it is certainly 
matter for sincere thankfulness that Bonaparte 
put a little practical common sense and a little 
wholesome pressure into the reorganization of 
western Germany, and that the poor people 
there were not obliged to wait until the cause of 
equal rights should be taken up by the King of 
Prussia and the Emperor of Austria. Moreover, 
that in exerting his influence in the matter of 
these reforms Napoleon was not outraging any 
national or patriotic feeling is admitted by Fyffe 
himself. " The people of Germany," says he, 
" cared as little about a Fatherland as their kings. 
To the Hessian and the Bavarian at the centre 


of the Empire, Germany was scarcely more than 
it was to the Swiss or the Dutch, who had left 
the Empire centuries before. The inhabitants 
of the Rhenish provinces had murmured for a 
while at the extortionate rule of the Directory ; 
but their severance from Germany and their in- 
corporation with a foreign race touched no fibre 
of patriotic regret ; and, after the establishment 
of a better order of things under the Consulate, 
the annexation to France appears to have become 
highly popular. Among a race whose members 
could thus be actually conquered and annexed 
without violence to their feelings, Bonaparte had 
no difficulty in finding willing allies." So far 
Mr. Fyffe. 

Very well, then, if his allies were willing, if 
the annexation to France was satisfactory to the 
people, as you say was the case, why, I should 
like to ask the learned author, why and of whom 
do you complain? Of Bonaparte? How can 
you, when his annexations were popular and his 
allies willing? Volenti nan fit injuria. Of 
these German communities? Why should you 
undertake to put your opinion against theirs? 
What business is it of yours to revise their judg- 
ment? And have you considered at all, have 
you not entirely forgotten to consider, what was 
the alternative presented to them? Is it not 
possible that the obstinate aristocratic and eccle- 
siastical despotism of Austria might appear more 
terrible than participation in the political career 


of the freest nation on the Continent, even if 
that nation was France ? Or that the peasantry 
of the west bank of the Rhine might well prefer 
the position of French soldiers, drawn as they 
were from all classes in life, each man certain to 
be promoted in due time if he was brave and 
competent, to that of serving in the Prussian 
army, where no one but a nobleman could by 
any possibility become an ofl&cer, and where the 
free use of the cane took the place of emulation 
and ambition ? 

I am tired of these theorists. Men like Lan- 
frey, instead of looking coolly and fairly at the 
actual state of the French people in 1799, at 
what they had gained in the way of legal and 
political reforms, at what they actually needed, 
and what they were fit for, pour out no end of 
reproaches upon their own nation for having de- 
cided to remain content for the time being with 
their acquisitions, and to consolidate the state in 
order to defend them. Men like Fyffe, instead 
of comparing the relative advantages and disad- 
vantages of the alternative presented to the peo- 
ples of western Germany of allying themselves 
either with Austria and Prussia or with France, 
and then telling us in so many words which they 
consider the wisest course, omit one branch of 
the alternative altogether from the discussion, 
and by the way they speak of the other clearly 
convey the impression that the right thing for 
these western Germans to do would have been 


to stand by Austria and Prussia, and postpone 
to an indefinite future, at the bidding of those 
powers, the much needed practical reforms which 
they either received when incorporated into 
France, or which were introduced into their re- 
spective countries by French influence during 
their alliance with France. If they really think 
this, then I have the honor to differ from them, 
toto coda. To my mind, neither Austria nor 
Prussia had any claim on the loyalty of the citi- 
zen of Cologne or the peasant of the Palatinate. 
The policy of both powers had always been 
grasping and unscrupulous. At this very time 
they had just finished the third partition of 
Poland. And not a single movement in the 
direction of practical relief to the middle and 
lower classes could reasonably be expected to 
come from either power. 

To my thinking, too, the inhabitants of west- 
ern Germany acted like sensible people in disre- 
garding this vague talk about the Fatherland, 
and in taking the shortest and most efficacious 
course to secure the sweeping reforms which they 
so urgently needed. It is a great thing, no 
doubt, for the people of a country to be patri- 
otic. But in order that any people should be 
patriotic they must first have a country. And 
by a country, I mean not a vision in the in- 
definite future, but a fact of to-day, and of a 
hundred years ago. That several communities 
speak the same language does not constitute 


them one country, however distinctly it may 
point to their common origin. One's country 
is not an inference from the fact of a common 
language ; still less is it a dream of the future. 
The country which has claims upon its citizens 
must in the nature of things be an organized 
community, with a history of which all its citi- 
zens can be proud, a present tangible existence 
in which they all participate, and a future to 
which they can all look forward. I am not re- 
proaching those who have in recent times 
brought about the political unity of Germany 
under the hegemony of Prussia, whether they 
went to work by songs, or books, or secret soci- 
eties, or by the more efficacious method of the 
Bismarckian blood and iron. We have at any 
rate no concern with their conduct here. But I 
do mean, to say that to reproach the Germans of 
the Rhine with a lack of patriotism because in 
their several states they stood by and fought for 
Napoleon against Austria and Prussia backed 
by Russia, is absurd on its face. 

More than that, — it was to France that west- 
ern Germany had always looked for support 
from the time of the Thirty Years War ; it was 
France that had all along prevented the absorp- 
tion of these communities in the Austrian Em- 
pire. The Germans of the Rhine had much more 
in common with the French than they had with 
the inhabitants of Hungary or Pomerania, with 
Paris than with Berlin or Vienna. They shrank 


back with merited dislike and dread from the 
crushing conservatism of the three eastern miUtary 
monarchies, Russia, Austria, and Prussia; they 
gladly and thankfully, and, let us add, wisely, took 
the hand which France stretched out to them, 
and entered cheerfully and hopefully on the path 
of reform, in which she had led the way. What 
was it to them that the military aristocrats of 
Prussia spoke German, that the Kaiser of Aus- 
tria was the nominal head of Germany ? Ought 
considerations like these to influence intelligent 
public opinion in western Germany to receive the 
word of command from the successor of the 
Great Frederic, or its institutes of civil and re- 
Ugious liberty from the hand of a Metternich ? 
Let me speak my mind on this matter. I have 
no patience with people whp, led away by a no- 
tion of a patriotism which at that time could 
have had no real existence, refuse to see that the 
side of France was, throughout the wars of the 
Revolution and the Empire, the side of civil and 
religious liberty. 

The important changes in western Germany, 
of which we have been speaking, greatly in- 
creased the predominance of France. The Ital- 
ian republic had recently followed the example 
of its elder sister, and had become a kingdom. 
Napoleon was crowned at Milan with the iron 
crown of Lombardy, amid great enthusiasm ; and 
his title thenceforward was that of Emperor of 
the French and King of Italy. He delegated 


his authority in the latter country to his step' 
son Eugene Beauharnais, a man of high charac- 
ter and good abilities, who assumed the title of 
Viceroy of Italy. 

These peaceful victories aroused anew the 
jealousy and perhaps even the alarm of Austria. 
England had broken the Peace of Amiens in the 
spring of 1803, and Russia had entered into alli- 
ance with her in 1804. In 1805 Austria joined 
the coalition. The ostensible cause of this com- 
bined attack on Napoleon was the distui-bance 
of the balance of power in Europe, caused by 
the aggrandizement of France ; and this was un- 
questionably a real cause. But there was some- 
thing behind and below this : there was the feel- 
ing that Napoleon represented the Revolution. 
Not certainly that he represented the excesses of 
jacobinism; but rather that he was the cham- 
pion of the liberal cause, and the foe of those 
unequal and oppressive privileges and vested 
rights, which constituted the very framework of 
society in Austria, Prussia, Russia, and, I might 
almost add, in England also. There was, in 
short, the conviction entertained by the ruling 
classes everywhere that he and his system must 
be broken down, or the old order of things in 
Europe would fall. Hence these repeated coali- 

Napoleon had been for more than a year as- 
sembling and organizing a large force at Bou- 
logne for his projected invasion of England. He 


undoubtedly meant, if circumstances should favor 
him, to undertake it. He gave such directions 
to his admirals as he judged would enable them 
to elude the vigilance of the British fleet, and to 
sweep the English Channel for the brief period 
during which his crossing could, as he calcu- 
lated, be made. He had drilled his men in 
embarking and disembarking, and I am afraid 
to say in how few hours he expected to be able 
to land 160,000 men in England. Had his 
plans succeeded, he could no doubt in a few 
days after landing have destroyed the arsenals 
and dockyards at Woolwich and Portsmouth, 
and taken London. But that seems to me to 
be all he could reasonably have expected to 
do. After all, 160,000 men of all arms were 
certainly not too many for his needs. The 
EngKsh government could doubtless have col- 
lected 60,000 or 70,000 regular troops, and 
volunteers would have been at once forthcom- 
ing in crowds. The best drilled militia would 
be used to fill up the regular regiments and 
batteries to the maximum strength. It would 
not have taken long to put into the field a 
formidable force of at least 100,000 men, nearly 
all of whom would be regular troops; and, 
making all necessary deductions for garrisons, 
guards of communications, and so forth, Na- 
poleon could not have taken the field with a 
much larger force than this. Under these cir- 
cumstances any great success in battle would 


have been improbable. The EngKsh regular 
troops were at least quite as good as the best 
that he carried with him ; and, though the Eng- 
lish army would in the ease I have imagined 
have been more or less diluted with recruits, still 
it would have been a force exceedingly hard to 
beat in any event ; and, had it played a waiting 
game, and its commander been wise enough to 
remain on the defensive and receive the assault 
of the French, there would have been an ex- 
tremely good chance for a victory of the class 
of Busaco, Talavera, or Gettysburg. And it 
must be remembered that Napoleon could have 
got no reinforcements, while the English army 
would have been augmented daily. If he was 
to succeed at all in the invasion of England, it 
would have been necessary for him to conquer 
the country, and actually possess himself of its 
resources; and, without reinforcements, this 
would not have been possible. But, to return 
from these speculations on what might have 
been, the French navy utterly failed the Em- 
peror. It has always been hard to beat the Eng- 
lish on their favorite element, and the French 
admirals of that day were certainly no match 
for Nelson and CoUingwood. These great cap- 
tains and their able subordinates headed ojff the 
French squadrons, prevented their junction, col- 
lected their own forces, secured an unimpeded 
control of the English Channel, and finally, in 
the famous battle of Trafalgar, fought on the 


2l8t of October, 1805, annihilated the French 
and Spanish navies. 

Long before this, however. Napoleon saw that 
his plan had miscarried ; and, as Austria had de- 
clared war, and was invading Bavaria, he ab- 
ruptly put his army in marching order, turned 
the heads of his columns to the southeast, and 
commenced the masterly series of movements that 
opened the brilliant campaign of 1805 by the 
capture of Ulm and ended it with the battle of 

Already had his political combinations begun 
to yield fruit. Bavaria had refused to join with 
Austria and Russia in this new attack on France. 
She was invaded, to be sure, but her territory 
was soon freed from the enemy. Wiirtemberg 
was passive at first, but in the first days of the 
campaign joined the French. Baden and Hesse 
Darmstadt had already taken sides with France. 
Hanover, which at that time belonged to Eng- 
land, had since the rupture of the peace of 
Amiens been occupied by a French army. Pos- 
sessed of these advantages, it was possible for 
Napoleon to pour his columns through Hanover, 
Hesse Darmstadt, Bavaria, and Wiirtemberg 
upon the communications of the Austrian gen- 
eral Mack, who had advanced to Ulm, on the 
western frontier of Bavaria, without his suspect- 
ing any movement of the sort. Mack had ex- 
pected that Napoleon would operate from Stras- 
burg as his base, and he was quietly waiting till he 



should hear that his adversary had got through 
or got round the Black Forest, when he found 
to his amazement that the French, in overwhelm- 
ing numbers, were in his rear, and in fact all 
round him. Only a resolute dash could possibly 
have saved him ; even that might have failed ; 
there was, however, still a chance. But Mack 
was not the man to take the risk, and after a few 
days of vacillation he surrendered, on the 19th 
of October, with 30,000 men. 

Following up this striking success without an 
instant's hesitation, and driving before him the 
fragments of the Austrian army and the van of 
the Russian contingent, which had just begun to 
enter Bavaria, Napoleon entered Vienna with- 
out serious opposition on the 13th of November. 
Here he offered peace, stipulating only for the 
cession of the Tyrol to his ally Bavaria and of 
Venice to his new Kingdom of Italy; but the 
Emperor Francis refused. Large reinforcements 
of Russian troops had arrived. The allied ar- 
mies retired into Moravia, in the neighborhood 
of Brunn, some seventy or eighty miles north of 
Vienna. Thither Napoleon followed them. He 
was in a situation of considerable peril. The 
detachments which must always be made in an 
invasion to cover and protect the communica- 
tions are necessarily very large. He had opened 
the campaign with six corps and the Guard ; he 
had with him here but four corps and the Guard. 
The army had been marched without mercy; 


the ranks were much thinned ; the French were 
doubtless outnumbered. Defeat would have been 
most disastrous, for Napoleon was in the heart 
of a hostile country. Moreover, Prussia, alarmed 
at the success of his invasion of Germany, was 
preparing to take up arms ; her ambassador had 
arrived in the French camp bearing the ultima- 
tum of his government ; the cabinet of Berlin 
fully expected war. They were counting con- 
fidently upon sending a strong Prussian army 
upon the exposed communications of the French, 
and compelling an instant and disastrous retreat. 
But Napoleon was not a man easily frightened. 
He had no notion of leaving his prey, now that 
it was practically within his grasp. He preserved 
perfect presence of mind. He refused even to 
talk with the Prussian envoy, and packed him 
ofE summarily to Vienna. He then coolly waited 
to see what the military genius of the two Em- 
perors in front of him would devise in the way 
of an offensive movement against him, for at 
that comparatively early period in the wars of 
the Empire it was generally possible for Napo- 
leon to calculate upon some stupendous blunder 
in the conduct of his adversaries. The allied 
armies were occupying loosely a long line of 
heights lying to the west of the village of Aus- 
terlitz. Their line faced the west. Napoleon 
confronted them. His base of operations in his 
movement into Moravia had necessarily been 
Vienna, but he had now with great judgment 


shifted it to the west, and had made his ar- 
rangements, in case of retreat, to fall back into 
Bohemia. Of this the enemy were ignorant. 
Their plan was to seize the Vienna road, turning 
the French right, and thus to force them into a 
region where they could procure neither supplies 
nor reinforcements. This scheme Napoleon, who 
was always indefatigable in personally watching 
the movements of the enemy, and spent the best 
part of the day of the 1st of December on the 
picket line, to see for himself what was going on, 
penetrated without difficulty. It was precisely 
what he would have had them do. In his ex- 
posed situation he was naturally desirous to 
avoid such a perilous and doubtful enterprise as 
that of attempting to drive his antagonists by 
main force from the strong positions they held 
on the heights of Pratzen. But it was quite An- 
other thing if they should voluntarily abandon 
the heights. Therefore, when on the morning 
of the famous 2d of December the sun of Aus- 
terlitz arose. Napoleon quietly waited until he 
saw the strong Russian columns leaving the 
heights in his immediate front and marching off 
to turn his right ; he prepared his counterstroke 
by strongly reinforcing his own centre ; when he 
judged that the key-point of the enemy's posi- 
tion, the heights, had been sufficiently denuded 
of troops, he gave the word to Soult to advance ; 
and in a few hours the Austrian and Russian 
army was completely broken to pieces. The 


allied right and reserve fought hard, but the 
French had always a superiority of force at the 
point of contact. In vain the Russian Guards 
displayed heroic courage ; in vain did the young 
Czar animate his men by fearlessly exposing 
himself : the French made good and maintained 
their advantage; until finally, the allied right 
and centre being routed. Napoleon was able to 
surround and almost to destroy their separated 
left wing, and complete the success of the day. 

Napoleon, it is said, was more proud of this 
battle than of any he ever fought. It certainly 
was a most decisive victory. Never was an army 
better handled than was the French army on 
this memorable field. Not only was Napoleon 
then in the zenith of his physical and mental 
strength, but his lieutenants were men of first- 
rate capacity. Soult, Davout, Lannes, Murat, 
were among his ablest officers. Bernadotte, to 
be sure, was not their equal, but he was a good 
soldier. Then the army was probably the best 
that in all his long career he ever handled. It 
was an army that had at Boulogne received spe- 
cial instruction, and had imbibed a strong esprit 
de corps. It was nearly all composed of French 
troops ; and there are certainly great advantages 
in a homogeneous force. The army which he 
had at J^na was perhaps as formidable, but that 
which fought at Wagram was by no means as 
good an army as that which he had at Auster- 
litz; it was made up from detachments from 


other armies, got together in haste to repel the 
unexpected invasion which Austria undertook in 
1809. At Borodino his troops, especially his 
cavalry, were a good deal worn with long march- 
ing. At Waterloo he did not have with him 
corps commanders of the exceptional capacity of 
Lannes and Davout. But though at Austerlitz 
he was fortunate in the ability of his lieutenants 
and in the discipline and morale of his troops, 
it was the enormous blunder of his antagonists 
that enabled him to win such a crushing vic- 
tory over them. Had a cool, sagacious, military 
head like the Duke of Wellington's directed the 
Austrian and Russian movements, such a defeat 
could not have been inflicted upon the allies. 
Their true policy was to play a waiting game. 
The necessity which obliged Napoleon to strike 
a blow quickly, if he would prevent the armed 
intervention of Prussia, would have forced him 
probably either to attack his enemy in position, 
or else to undertake a difficult campaign of ma- 
noeuvres, having for its object to compel them to 
attack him. In either case a good general ought 
to have been able to make a respectable stand, 
even against Napoleon, hampered as he was by his 
situation in the midst of a hostile country. And 
nothing but a decisive victory, it must be recol- 
lected, would have answered Napoleon's needs. 
A drawn battle like Eylau, or a doubtful success 
like Borodino, accompanied, as such a struggle 
must always be, with great loss of life and great 


expenditure of ammunition, would certainly have 
necessitated his retreat. In such an event Prus- 
sia, who was waiting her opportunity, would 
without doubt have declared war on the instant ; 
and to say the least of it, it would have required 
all the unrivalled genius of the French Emperor 
to withdraw his army and garrisons from the 
Austrian dominions without suffering very seri- 
ous loss. Of all this Napoleon was perfectly 
cognizant; but, in pursuance of his usual haz- 
ardous policy, he chose to take these risks in the 
hope of winning a decisive success by the mis- 
takes of his foes. And he certainly succeeded 
this time. But, as we shall see before finishing 
our study, he was not always so fortunate. 

Austria was now obliged to accept the terms 
which a few weeks before she had rejected. The 
Tyrol was ceded to Bavaria, and Venice to the 
Kingdom of Italy. No serious complaint can 
be made of these conditions. Venice had been 
in Austrian hands for only eight years, and all 
the interests and political fortunes of its popula- 
tion attracted it to the new Kingdom of Italy. 
Here, then, was, as every one will admit, an un- 
questionable benefit conferred on the Italians. 
As for the Tyrol, it was annexed to Bavaria 
mainly on account of its strategical importance 
in the event of another war. It is true that the 
population were attached to the Hous9 of Haps- 
burg, and that the annexation to Bavaria was 
unpopular with them. Still, such cessions of ter- 


ritory as the result of an unsuccessful war were 
common enough then, and have been tolerably 
common since. There seems to have been noth- 
ing specially remarkable about this one. Austria 
had begun the war by the unprovoked invasion 
of Bavaria; it was not on the whole very harsh 
that she should be compelled to end the war 
by ceding her frontier province to her injured 
neighbor. The principal question for us in con- 
sidering these changes and annexations is not 
whether they are in our eyes justifiable or not : 
to arrive at any decision on that question, we 
shall have first to determine from what stand- 
point we ought to view them, whether from the 
standpoint of the Austrian and Russian and 
Prussian and French statesmen of that day, — 
for they all viewed such matters pretty much m 
the same way ; they all of them, Alexander, Napo- 
leon, Thugut, Haugwitz, held stoutly to the old 
course of adding whatever, according to the cus- 
toms of civilized warfare, they could add to their 
respective countries, — or from the standpoint 
of abstract political morality; we shall never 
make much headway in determining that ques- 
tion, and shall, if we undertake the task, very 
likely end in condemning all the continental pol- 
iticians of the period and their doings. The ^ 
only question that it is worth while for us to 
consider is this : What was the result, in each 
particular case, of the annexation? Was it a 
change in the direction of progress and good 



government, or in the direction of the preserva- 
tion of ancient systems of oppression, inequality, 
and intolerance ? In determining this question, 
we can have facts to aid us in almost every case. 
If, on the contrary, we take up the other, we be- 
come mere casuists, undertaking to decide ques- 
tions of conscience for other people, long since 
dead and buried, and who had different stand- 
ards of right and wrong on such matters from 
anv that commend themselves to our minds to- 
day. This is an unprofitable and a hopeless task. 
What we want to do is to understand, if we can, 
the real nature of the great political changes 
which took place in the Napoleonic period. 

Looking now from this point of view at the re- 
sult of the war, the events of which I have just 
sketched, we can all, I think, agree that it was a 
gain for European progress that it ended in the 
triumph of Napoleon and not in the triumph of 
the allies ; that it added the Italian territory of 
Venice to the new Kingdom of Italy ; that by 
increasing the strength of the western states of 
Germany, it added to the stability of the liberal 
institutions they had, under the lead of France, 
recently adopted ; that it did not end in subject- 
ing Italy and western Germany to the domination 
of Austria and Russia, and in the reintroduction 
of the abuses which Napoleon had swept away. 
For, let me add (and I assure you it is not an 
unnecessary reminder), as nearly all wars end in 
the triumph of one party or the other, we must, 


in considering these continual conflicts of the 
Napoleonic era, always keep in mind what would 
have been the consequences if his antagonists 
had beaten him. On which side in these wars, 
on the whole, do we find the interests of human 
progress, of liberal, modern, equal, and just gov- 
ernment ? That is the question throughout our 
whole examination of the history of these times. 
On his return from Austria, Napoleon, in the 
spring and summer of 1806, carried out his fa- 
vorite project for the consolidation of the French 
predominance, as opposed to the Austrian pre- 
dominance, in southwestern Germany. He es- 
tablished the Confederation of the Rhine, of 
which Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and Baden were the 
principal members, and to which nearly all the 
lesser states of southern Germany gave in their 
adhesion. In all these communities the new 
system of things was introduced to a greater or 
less extent ; the general principles of the Code, 
if not the Code itself, became the fundamental 
law; equal rights, universal toleration, no ex- 
emptions or privileges, a free career for every 
man, took the place of oppressive restrictions, of 
antiquated institutions, of unjust and unequal 
privileges. Napoleon was styled the Protector 
of the Confederation ; and it was definitely 
agreed what should be the contingent furnished 
by each state in time of war. By this masterly 
scheme the new order of things in western Ger 
many received a definite political constitution. 


The Peace of Presburg had not included Rus- 
sia, between which power and France war still 
existed. England, also, secure in her insular 
position, jealous, with her old national jealousy, 
of the aggrandizement of her ancient rival, 
wholly out of sympathy with the new liberal 
movement on the continent, equally ignorant and 
careless of the real needs of the masses of the 
people in France, Italy, and Germany, viewing 
the whole conflict as the work of an aggressive 
democracy led by a successful military usurper,^ 
clinging with aristocratic and invincible prejudice 
to her determination to restore the old social 
order of things, and reestablish at any cost the 
former balance of power, continued the war. If 
we would understand the course taken by Eng- 
land during these wars of the French Revolution 
and the Empire, we have only to recall her atti- 
tude during the late civil war in this country. 
Notwithstanding her professed abhorrence of 
slavery, her sympathies were plainly with the 
States that were fighting for slavery. Why was 
this? Because by its characteristic features 
Southern society was allied to the aristocratic 
element in English society. Because the Sout ^ 
was fighting a pure democracy, and the victory 
of that democracy in America would give a great 
impulse to the democratic cause everywhere. 
Lastly, England preferred that there should be 
two nations in North America in place of one. 

^ See Appendix III. 


Hence she assumed the rightfulness of secession ; 
she pretended to believe that the North was 
fighting for mere lust of dominion ; she chose to 
ignore the question of slavery, and prated about 
the tariff ; and her philanthropic lamentations 
about the devastations and bloodshed of a war 
that she wanted to see terminated by the rec- 
ognition of the Southern Confederacy could be 
heard across the Atlantic. Sixty years before, 
had such a struggle broken out in the United 
States, no one can doubt that she would have 
openly taken part against the great Northern 
democracy. It is, therefore, I submit, not so 
very difficult for us Americans to discern the 
real causes which actuated England in her fierce 
and persistent struggle against the French Re- 
public and the Empire. We can tell how likely 
it is that she should have taken any sympathetic 
and intelligent interest in the welfare and for- 
tunes of the populations of the continent, since 
we know how incapable she was of comprehend- 
ing the great political crisis in the history of her 
own child. We can put the proper value on 
English denunciations of the ambition of Napo- 
leon, and on English diatribes on the miseries 
caused by his wars, because we know how in re- 
cent times England has chosen to mistake the 
real nature of our great conflict, and to ignore 
the necessity which we were under of carrying 
it through at any cost, however tremendous. 
Returning now to our narrative. Mr. Pitt, 


then Prime Minister, had got up the coalition of 
1805. England had furnished Russia and Aus- 
tria with a great part of the money which had 
been so uselessly expended in the recent disas- 
trous campaign. She had also tried her best to 
induce Prussia to join the allies, and throw her 
sword into the scale against Napoleon. 

But in this she had not succeeded. It was 
not that Prussia was not at bottom as hostile to 
Napoleon and his doings as were Russia and 
Austria. Her sympathies could not but be with 
the conservative side, so far as the ]ines of the 
European conflict were drawn on general princi- 
ples of social and political policy. The intensely 
aristocratic constitution of her army was suffi- 
cient of itself to determine her preferences. 
Still, she was probably not displeased at witness- 
ing the repeated humiliations of her ancient 
rival, Austria. And she was not without hopes 
that her abstention from the coahtion might be 
rewarded with a considerable accession of terri- 

The net result of these opposing forces was a 
timid, unstatesmanlike, and dishonorable course 
of action. While the king and some of his ad- 
visers were favorable to the maintenance of 
friendship with Prance, the military and aristo- 
cratic party were bitterly hostile to it. The 
crossing by some of Bernadotte's troops of two 
of the outlying territories of Prussia, in the 
movement upon Ulm, though a mere temporary 


matter^ gave, as indeed it well might, serious 
cause of offence at Berlin. It was, of course, 
promptly apologized for, but it nevertheless gave 
a great impulse to the war party. The Czar 
Alexander besought the king to join the coali- 
tion, and finally a treaty of alliance, offensive 
and defensive, was signed between the two pow- 
ers. Hence the despatch to the French camp 
before Austerlitz of the Prussian envoy, Haug^ 
witz, with an ultimatum which it was supposed 
Napoleon would at once reject. But if Napoleon 
ever saw it, it was not until after the battle of 
Austerlitz. In fact, it is questionable whether it 
ever was presented in due form ; certainly it 
never was insisted on, Haugwitz, doubtless, feel- 
ing very clear in his mind that it was no time 
now for ultimatums of any sort. The two pow- 
ers patched up a new arrangement, and seemed 
to be better friends than ever. Hanover was to 
go to Prussia ; the territories which Bernadotte 
had crossed were to go to Bavaria. 

But the breach had gone too far to be 
healed ; or, to speak more definitely, the contin- 
ued inaction of Prussia greatly irritated the war 
party, which was equally opposed to Napoleon's 
system and to his growing predominance in Ger- 
many, and which was also eager to try the result 
of an encounter between the army of the Great 
Frederic and the veterans of Austerlitz and Ma- 
rengo. There was no real casus belli ; but there 
was an irrepressible feeling of irritation and 


alarm felt at the growth of French influence 
in Germany. The formation of tha Confedera- 
tion of the Rhine, the introduction into these 
German states of the democratic ideas of the 
French Revolution, the aboHtion of the powers 
and privileges and exemptions of the nobility, 
awakened in the minds of the military aristoc- 
racy of Prussia and her immediate neighbors and 
dependants, Brunswick and Hesse particularly, 
sentiments of the bitterest hostility. Then, 
there was no state in Europe more martial than 
Prussia. She had won her position among the 
nations by her eminence in war. She had been, 
as it were, born and bred in camps. She had re- 
cently had in the Great Frederic a king who was 
confessedly tha b33t general of his day. The 
veteran officers of tha Seven Years War still re- 
viewed her battalions. She had counted France 
as her foe in the time of her direst extremity, 
but she was able to point to Rossbach as one of 
her proudest days. Her army had always been 
sedulously cared for. Its manoeuvres were as 
perfect and its drill as exact as in the days of 
the exercises at Potsdam before the great king ; 
but they were also the same manoeuvres and the 
same drill. Prussia had forgotten that the 
world moves ; that even in war something is 
gained by experience under new and enterpris- 
ing leaders. And she forgot also that it was not 
a man of the stamp of Marshal Soubise with 
whom she would now have to deal. 


These feelings of jealousy and hostility over- 
came in the end every prudential consideration. 
On the 1st of October, 1806, Prussia declared 
war. The Duke of Brunswick commanded the 
army. He had been a general of some mark in 
the Seven Years War, but now he was upwards 
of seventy years of age. The other leading offi- 
cers, Prince Hohenlohe and General MoUendorf, 
were also too old and infirm for the labors and 
duties of an active campaign. The army was in 
fact full of superannuated officers, although con- 
taining, of course, many of the younger nobility. 
The troops were of excellent material, but their 
tactics were antiquated. 

The Duke of Brunswick favored taking the 
offensive. Occupying Saxony, and obtaining a 
reinforcement of Saxon troops, his plan was to 
move westwardly through J^na, Erfurth, and 
Eisenach until he had passed the westerly ex- 
tremity of the Thuringian Forest, and then, 
turning to the south, to strike the communica- 
tions of the French army, which was massing in 
the northern part of Bavaria, near Bamberg. 
Apart from the temerity of adopting such a pro- 
ject when opposed to such an adversary as Na- 
poleon, which should have been a sufficient ob- 
jection to it, there was no time to carry it into 
effect. Before they were well on their way. Na- 
poleon was upon them. Pushing his troops over 
the Saale, he planted himself upon their commu- 
nications with Saxony. The forward movement 


of the Prussian army was at once arrested ; at 
first it was resolved to concentrate on Weimar, 
and fight ; finally it was decided to retreat upon 
Magdeburg. But these hesitations took time, 
while Napoleon did not lose an hour. Sending 
Davout and Bernadotte still farther to the north 
to seize the enemy's depots of supplies, and 
block their retreat into Saxony, he, with the 
main body, consisting of the corps of Ney, Soult, 
and Lannes, a portion of the cavalry of Murat, 
and the Imperial Guard, came up with the Prus- 
sians in force on the 13th of October. The 
Emperor supposed that he had before him the 
whole Prussian army; but in fact it was not 
more than half of it, under Prince Hohenlohe. 
This force was acting as a rear guard, the main 
body having retired some miles to the north. 
To divide their army when about to fight Napo- 
leon was a blunder indeed, and dearly did they 
pay for it. In the battle of J^na, fought on the 
14th, the Prussians had no chance whatever. 
Outnumbered through their own folly, outma- 
noeuvred by the superior skill of their antagonists, 
opposed to troops inured to war and led by the 
best generals of the day, there was nothing to do 
but to stand up and fight like soldiers, and ac- 
cept their fate. And fight they did, with great 
resolution and obstinacy, though to no purpose. 
The same day, a few miles further to the north, 
at Auerstadt, Davout, who had been sent to 
threaten the Prussian communications, encoun- 


tered their main body, led by the Duke of 
Brunswick, accompanied by the king in person. 
He was, of course, at once attacked. But Da- 
vout was one of the ablest of Napoleon's mar- 
shals, and was moreover a man of great firmness. 
He took up a strong position, and held it with 
unyielding obstinacy all day long. In vain did 
the magnificent Prussian cavalry throw them- 
selves upon the French squares ; their efforts 
were as useless as those of the French cavalry 
against the Enghsh squares at Waterloo. The 
king, sword in hand, again and again led the 
troops in person ; the Duke of Brunswick was 
mortally wounded ; MoUendorf , Schmettau, 
Wartensleben, and other officers of rank were 
wounded at the head of their men. But Da- 
vout held his own, and finally, at the close of 
the afternoon, the arrival of his last division 
enabled him to take the offensive, and put his 
enemy to rout. For his services on this memo- 
rable day, Davout was made Duke of Auerstadt, 
and to him was accorded the honor of entering 
Berlin before the Emperor himself. 

Oh this fatal 14th of October, 1806, the 
military power of Prussia was destroyed. The 
French went from city to city and from fortress 
to fortress, only to receive surrenders. On the 
25th Davout entered Berlin. In three weeks 
nearly all the fortresses in Prussia proper had 
surrendered; and the French had advanced to 
the Oder. Before winter set in, the King of 


Prussia had retired to Konigsberg, at the east- 
erly extremity of his kingdom, and Napoleon 
was at Warsaw, near which city he established 
his army in winter quarters. 

Of the operations in Poland and East Prussia 
during the winter and early summer, I have no 
time to speak. In the Russians, Napoleon found 
an obstinate and enterprising foe. At Eylau on 
the 7th of February, 1807, he came very near 
suffering defeat. But his presence of mind, clear 
head, and unshaken firmness carried him through, 
and he gained the day. Finally, after several 
bloody and useless encounters, the Russian gen- 
eral, Benningsen, made one of those egregious 
tactical blunders, on which, as I have before re- 
marked. Napoleon could generally calculate in 
the first half of his career, and at Friedland, on 
the 14th of June, 1807, the Russian army was 
practically destroyed. Hopeless now of accom- 
plishing anything more for his ally, the King of 
Prussia, to whom out of all his kingdom a mere 
remnant now remained, — Konigsberg having 
fallen as the result of the battle of Friedland, — 
the Czar caine to terms. The famous interview 
on the raft in the Niemen took place at Tilsit on 
the 25th of June, 1807, between the two Emper- 
ors, and a general peace was concluded on the 
7th of July. 



The Peace of Tilsit restored to Prussia most 
of her own proper territories. She even retained 
Silesia, which, sixty years before, the Great 
Frederic had wrested by main force from, the 
Empress Maria Theresa. But she was compelled 
to relinquish her last ill-gotten acquisitions. 
Warsaw, Posen, and the surrounding territories 
were formed into a new state called the Grand 
Duchy of Warsaw, of which the King of Saxony 
was made the head. Into this country, lying be- 
tween the three great military and reactionary 
monarchies, the French Emperor introduced his 
new regime of equal laws and equal status. The 
Grand Duchy of Warsaw was thus an outpost of 
the new system. 

The most important result of the war was the 
creation out of Brunswick, Hanover, Hesse, and 
some other of the lesser states of northern Ger- 
many of a new kingdom, to which Napoleon 
gave the name of Westphalia, and over which 
he placed his youngest brother, Jerome. 

Into these communities, full as they could be 


of all the vexatious and oppressive features of 
feudal right and military officialism, Napoleon 
introduced the humane, enlightened, just, and 
equal laws embodied in the Code, Never was 
there a country more in need of them. They 
brought comfort and hope to the hovel of the 
peasant. They enlisted the untitled middle 
classes in support of the first government they 
had ever known that had condescended to recog- 
nize their existence. True, there was in the con- 
stitution of Westphalia but small provision for 
popular representation. To our eyes, — in fact 
to any eyes, — the frame of government looks 
very autocratic. But it was not the monarchical 
feature that gave this constitution its distinctive 
character. It was no innovation in that part of 
the world to concentrate all power in the hands 
of the head of the state. To this, and to the 
most arbitrary exercise of that power, the Hes- 
sians and. the Brunswickers, at least, were well 
accustomed. It was barely thirty years since the 
predecessors of some of these very princes whose 
states were merged in the new kingdom had 
actually sold the military services of their sub- 
jects, and had defrayed the expenses of their 
petty courts with the money which England 
gladly paid for the assistance which their sol- 
diers rendered in fighting her battles on the 
Hudson and in the Carolinas. There was noth- 
ing in the monarchical provisions of the new 
constitution calculated to give offence to any- 


body. But the abolition of all the pecuniary 
and other exemptions of the privileged classes, 
the extinction of all their vested rights to labor, 
service, tolls and charges on land, and the intro- 
duction of a system of equal legal rights for all 
persons, were certain to awaken indignation and 
opposition. It was to these features in the con- 
stitution, therefore, that Napoleon gave the most 
attention, because they would make the differ- 
ence between Westphalia and her Prussian and 
Austrian neighbors, and would, when thoroughly 
accepted by the people, attach Westphalia to the 
cause of the new order of things. 

Hence we find him writing to his brother to 
follow the constitution faithfully, and calling his 
attention to its characteristic provisions. " What 
the German peoples desire with impatience," 
says the Emperor, " is that individuals who are 
not noble and who have talents shall have an 
equal right to your consideration and to public 
employment " with those who are of noble birth ; 
" that every sort of servitude and of intermediate 
obligations between the sovereign and the lowest 
class in the people should be entirely abolished. 
The benefits of the Code Napoleon,"* he goes 
on to say, " the publicity of legal procedure, the 
establishment of the jury system, will be the dis- 
tinctive characteristics of your monarchy. And 
to tell you my whole mind on this matter, I 
count more on the effect of these benefits, for 
the extension and strengthening of your king- 


dom^ than upon the result of the greatest victo- 
ries. Your people ought- to enjoy a Uberty, an 
equality, a well-being, unknown to the German 
peoples. . . . This kind of government will be a 
barrier separating you from Prussia more power- 
ful than the Elbe, than fortresses, than the pro- 
tection of France. What people would wish to 
return to the arbitrary government of Prussia, 
when it has tasted the benefits of a wise and 
liberal administration? The peoples of Ger- 
many, France, Italy, Spain, desire equality, and 
demand that liberal ideas should prevail. ... Be 
a constitutional king." 

In this remarkable letter. Napoleon gives us 
not only his ideas of the political needs of the 
continental nations, but also his general view of 
the state of Europe. lie recognizes that what 
the people of the continent needed at that time 
was not seZ/^government, of which they were 
then wholly incapable, but better government, — 
equal rights and an enlightened policy on the 
part of their rulers : and his language leads us 
to infer that he considered the whole west of 
Europe as united in a desire to obtain these ad- 
vantages. It is plain, also, that he anticipates 
that these newly emancipated nations will have 
to defend their rights against their reactionary 
neighbors, and will need all the help that natu- 
ral barriers, strong fortresses, the protection of 
France, and, above ail, a union of opinion among 
their own people, can give them. What he evi- 


dently was aiming at, was the union of the 
western states of Europe, so soon as they should 
all have received the new system, in a common 
league to defend their liberties against the hos- 
tile coalitions which would certainly be formed 
against them. You observe, that he does not 
say that the populations of Prussia and Austria 
demand equality and liberal ideas in government. 
By Germany he means the German states, which, 
outside of these two powers, then comprised 
much the larger part of the German people. 
Here he had determined to draw the line. At- 
taching these populations to the new system, 
welding them together in a confederation under 
the protection of France, he hoped that in time 
this part of Europe at any rate would be able to 
maintain itself, and to retain the great social, 
legal, and political reforms introduced by the 
French Revolution. 

It has probably not escaped your observation 
that the Emperor included Italy and Spain in 
his enumeration of the countries that demanded 
the new system. Of Italy he had the right to 
speak thus, although it certainly was more true 
of the northern than of the southern portion of 
the peninsula. Still, at this time his brother 
Joseph was King of Naples, was introducing the 
Code, and was governing in a wise, humane, and 
liberal spirit, to the great satisfaction of the bet- 
ter classes of the population. But Spain was 
still under the rule of the Bourbons, and a most 


corrupt, inefficient, bigoted rule it 'was. How 
came he, then, to include Spain? 

There is no need that I should take up your 
time with any account of the highhanded and 
entirely indefensible course pursued by Napoleon 
towards the king and royal family of Spain. No 
justification for his acts in seizing from their 
weak grasp tlie country which they governed, or 
rather misgoverned, can be made. Let us frank- 
ly admit this. There was an excuse, and a good 
one, for his banishment of the Neapolitan Bour- 
bons. Ferdinand of Naples had deliberately 
made a treaty by which he had agreed to pre- 
serve neutrality in the war which England, Rus- 
sia, and Austria had in 1805 undertaken against 
Napoleon. Yet when the French cause seemed 
to be compromised by the perilous advance of the 
Emperor beyond Vienna, the court of Naples put 
its army on a war footing, and received with open 
arms an English and Russian force. There was 
not a shadow of cause for this hostile course ; it 
was wholly unprovoked. It was taken six months 
after a solemn promise to keep the peace. The 
breach of faith was the more heinous in that the 
time selected was when Napoleon was supposed 
to be in great straits. Lastly, there was the 
additional aggravation, that it was not an ordi- 
nary war between the two countries that Naples 
undertook to wage, but it was a combination, 
a coalition, against France, into which she so 
eagerly and so dishonorably entered. Naturally, 


Napoleon felt that this was practically joining a 
conspiracy, and that with a monarch capable of 
this no terms could be made. Hence he deter- 
mined once for all to bring Naples permanently 
into the French alliance. He made his brother 
Joseph king ; liberal institutions were intro- 
duced ; the new regime met with the counte- 
nance and support of the middle classes and of 
many of the educated and influential nobility. 

No excuses of this kind can be made for 
Napoleon's course towards Spain. True, the 
Spanish ministry had taken a hasty step which 
looked like a rupture with France, at a moment 
when Napoleon was fighting in the marshes of 
East Prussia and Poland in 1807. This step 
was, however, soon retracted, and the two coun- 
tries were apparently on terms of amity again. 
There was, I repeat, no justification for Napo- 
leon's dethronement of the Spanish Bourbons. 

Yet it will hardly be pretended that Napoleon 
had any hostile intentions towards the Spanish 
people. He undoubtedly supposed that, like the 
populations of Italy and of most parts of west- 
em Germany, the population of the Spanish pe- 
ninsula were ready for the great reforms in gov- 
ernment in which France had led the way, and 
in which Holland, western Germany, and Italy 
were then cheerfully and hopefully marching, and 
that the better and more enlightened part of the 
Spanish people would be thankful to see a liberal, 
inteUigent, and conscientious man like Joseph 


take the place of the bigoted and profligate 
Charles IV. In Napoleon's view, all the states 
of western Europe were ripe for political and 
legal and social progress ; and he thought that 
what had proved so successful in Italy and Ger- 
many would be cordially welcomed by Spain. 

In this he was mistaken. There was, it is 
true, a certain amount of liberal sentiment in 
Spain ; but there was also a deep feeling of pa- 
triotism, which the course pursued by the French 
Emperor towards the Spanish king and his son 
aroused into fierce action. Not only were the 
masses of the people averse to any changes, not 
only were the clergy zealous beyond measure in 
inciting the population against France and her 
revolutionary policy, but even the liberal party 
in Spain, though some men of influence in it 
declared forEang Joseph, as a rule preferred 
the continuance of the existing wretched and 
despotic form of government to any improve- 
ments which could be introduced under the rule 
of a foreigner. On this Napoleon had not cal- 
culated. His arrangements had been made on 
the supposition that the experiences of Lom- 
bardy and Naples would be repeated in Spain. 
Accordingly, the new king made a royal progress 
in great state to Madrid, but he soon had to 
abandon it ; and although he afterwards returned 
under the escort of his powerful brother, his 
reign was one of incessant war. There were 
periods when he ruled, with the aid of French 


armies, over the greater portion of the country. 
Had it not been for the assistance of the English 
there can be no reason to doubt that the resist- 
ance to him would have died out in time, and 
there can be equally little reason to doubt that 
Joseph would have made the Spaniards a good 
king. He brought with him the principles of a 
far better government than any to which they 
had ever been accustomed. But he found in 
Spain a national or patriotic feeling, pure and 
simple, which resisted all his efforts at concilia- 
tion. This the previous experience of the French 
on the Rhine and in Italy had not prepared them 
for. They had forgotten that while the relig- 
ious wars and the wars ensuing on the disinte- 
gration of the German Empire had rendered a 
strictly patriotic feeling out of the question in 
Germany, that while Italy had been from time 
immemorial parcelled out between the kings of 
France and Spain and the Emperor of Germany, 
Spain had maintained her integrity, and that she 
had a great and glorious history. 

Napoleon, in fact, made a capital error in 
attempting to force a liberal government upon 
Spain. But there can be no sort of question 
that it would have been a great benefit to Spain 
had Joseph been able to establish himself. As 
between him and the principles of government 
which he represented, and Ferdinand and the 
principles to which he was committed, we cannot 
for a moment hesitate in expressing our prefer- 


ence for the former. Under Joseph, in 1808, the 
Inquisition was abolished ; under Ferdinand, in 
1814, it was restored. The opposition to Joseph 
was not an intelligent opposition ; it was a move- 
ment of an unreasoning, and, so to speak, bigoted 
patriotism. The Spanish people in fighting the 
French were not resisting tyranny ; nor were 
they fighting against the imposition of a for- 
eign yoke, for there was no intention of conquer- 
ing Spain and annexing the country to France. 
They were opposing the advent of a new regime 
which brought, or would, if they had suffered it 
to enter, have brought to them in its train incal- 
culable benefits, — would have made them a freer, 
more intelligent, more liberal people, have placed 
them in line with the advanced nations of Eu- 
rope, and would have saved them innumerable 
revolutions, atrocities, executions. But they shut 
their eyes to all this, because the way in which 
their legitimate king had been treated deeply 
wounded their national pride. With the aid of 
the English they finally expelled the intruder, 
and succeeded in restoring Spain to nearly the 
same condition of degradation, poverty, misrule, 
and intolerance in which she was before the 
French invasion. The liberal element, unable 
to rally around the reactionary government, was 
soon forced into revolution, and the history of 
Spain since 1814 has been a bloody story of in- 
surrection and civil war. 

Undoubtedly, the true course for Napoleon to 


take when he discovered the almost universal op- 
position in Spain to his projects was to have at 
once abandoned them. This, however, it needs 
hardly be said, was a course totally opposed to 
his disposition. Having undertaken to put his 
brother on the throne of Spain, he did not pro- 
pose to desist because of the opposition of the 
people. He attributed this opposition entirely 
to the prejudices of the ignorant masses and the 
bigotry of the clergy. He refused to give suffi- 
cient weight to the fact that the French policy 
had few supporters, even among the liberals. He 
thought he could crush all resistance by main 

Accordingly, he invaded Spain at the head of 
a large army, dispersed the wretched troops 
which the Spanish junta had set on foot, forced 
Sir John Moore, who at the head of a small 
English army had penetrated a long distance 
into the interior, to beat a precipitate retreat to 
the coast, and departed for Paris, leaving the 
conduct of further operations to Joseph and the 
marshals. His stay was, in truth, too short to 
do the work thoroughly, and, what is more, he 
left no one behind him who was competent to 
finish the task. But the attitude of Austria 
alarmed him. 

The fact was, that Austria believed that Napo- 
leon had got himself so entangled with the af- 
fairs of Spain that she might reasonably hope to 
recover some of her lost possessions, and some 


part, at any rate, of her former ascendancy in 
Germany. There was absolutely no pretence of 
Prance having given her any new ground of 
quarrel. To the mind of the Austrian states- 
man of that day there was a standing cause of 
war with Napoleon. No matter what had been 
agreed in treaties, if there was an unexpectedly 
good chance, it was always the thing to attack 
him again. You will find this view defended by 
Scott, Fyffe, and others, on the ground of Napo- • 
Icon's aim being the conquest of Europe. But 
the facts at that time certainly warranted no 
such conclusion. Take Austria, for instance. Of 
the three wars in which she had been engaged 
since the outbreak of the French Revolution, she 
had begun each one of them herself. In not 
one of the three does any historian, to whatever 
political belief he may hold, seriously claim that 
France was the aggressor. To be sure, in every 
one of these three wars Austria had been badly 
beaten, and there is no question that Napoleon 
improved to the full the advantages he gained. 
But in this there was nothing to complain of. I 
see no reason whatever to doubt that Austria 
might have had peace just as long as she was 
willing to keep the peace. 

Nevertheless she determined on war, and, as 
usual, began it by invading Bavaria. The cam- 
paign of 1809 is an interesting one. Every one 
has heard how for the first time in his experience 
Napoleon found that the Austrians had effected 


a concentration of their forces, when his own 
were as yet separated. The Emperor arrived at 
the front not a moment too soon. He appHed 
himself with wonderful activity to the problem 
before him. For six days he did not take oflf 
his clothes. Fortunately he had in Mass^na, 
Davout, and Lannes three first-rate lieutenants. 
With their cordial, intelligent, and vigorous help 
the army was soon got together, and in the 
brilliant actions of Abensberg and Eckmiihl the 
troops of the Archduke Charles were beaten and 
dispersed, and the way again opened to Vienna. 
The French entered Vienna without further 
serious opposition about the middle of May. 
The Austrian army, now again concentrated, lay 
on the northern side of the Danube, just below 
the city. It numbered somewhere about 80,000 
men. Napoleon was naturally anxious to lose no 
time ; he desired to preserve the moral effect of 
his success hitherto. Accordingly, although his 
army was considerably weakened by the casual- 
ties of the campaign as well as by the troops re- 
quired to guard his communications, he deter- 
mined to cross the Danube at once and attack 
the Archduke Charles. At the point selected, 
the channel of the river is separated by the large 
island of Lobau into two branches, of which the 
southern is much the wider. In less than a 
week from his arrival at Vienna this large arm 
of the Danube was bridged, and troops were 
crossing on smaller bridges thrown from the 


island to the north bank. But these arrange- 
ments being hastily made were imperfectly made, 
and, besides, the river rose, and the increased 
velocity of its current imperilled the bridges, 
particularly that crossing the larger or southern 
branch. Nevertheless, Massena crossed with his 
corps, occupied the villages of Aspern and Ess- 
ling, and was immediately attacked. He how- 
ever maintained himself during the day (May 
21st). The corps of Lannes and some other 
troops crossed during the night, raising the total 
of the French force on the north side of the 
Danube to about 55,000 men. With these 
troops Napoleon managed to hold his own dur- 
ing the greater part of the 22d against the 
repeated and desperate assaults which the Arch- 
duke directed against him. Such was the pre- 
carious state of the bridges that he was unable 
to get Davout's corps and the other troops 
across the river ; all he could do was to maintain 
his position against largely superior numbers, 
and wait till he could be reinforced. But in the 
afternoon came the terrible news that the great 
bridge across the main channel had given way 
entirely, leaving Davout with his corps and some 
other troops on the south side of the river. It 
required all Napoleon's firmness and coolness, 
and all the splendid fighting capacity of Massena 
and Lannes, to bring the force they had in hand 
in good order back to the island of Lobau. But 
they did It. The Emperor's nerve never failed 


him for an instant; nothing could exceed the 
skill and bravery of his corps commanders. One 
of them, Lannes, was mortally wounded at the 
close of the action ; the other, Mass^na, for his 
conspicuous services on this terrible day, was 
created Prince of Essling. 

Once on the island of Lobau, the army was 
for the time being safe. But it was a very seri- 
ous question whether to remain there or to re- 
cross to the south side of the river. Napoleon 
decided to stay where he was. He ordered new 
and solid bridges to be built. He surveyed the 
whole field, and made up his mind that the game 
was not half played out. He sent for reinforce- 
ments from France, Italy, Germany. Fortune 
favored his plans. The Viceroy Eugene beat 
the Austrians in the Tjrrol, and made his way to 
the Danube at the head of a powerful corps. 
Marmont and Bernadotte joined him, each with 
strong reinforcements. His army numbered on 
the 1st of July no less than 150,000 men. 

On the 4th of July pontoon bridges were laid 
from the island to the north bank, and on the 
5th the whole army was over in excellent condi- 
tion for an army made up of such heterogeneous 
elements, the main body fully rested by the en- 
forced stay on the island, encouraged by heavy 
reinforcements, and expecting a striking and de- 
cisive victory. 

It is always within the power of a good gen- 
eral who commands an army equal or nearly equal 


to that of his opponent^ to prevent anything 
like a catastrophe. Rosbach, Leiithen, Auster- 
Ktz, Jena, Friedland, Waterloo, Sedan, are all in- 
stances of great mistakes made by the defeated 
commanders or their subordinates. Even Napo- 
leon himself could not score a decisive victory 
where no serious errors were made by the oppo- 
site side. And it always ought to be possible 
for a thoroughly trained and educated officer to 
avoid serious errors. Such an officer may of 
course lose battles ; but he never loses a battle 
without inflicting heavy loss on his antagonist, 
and without retiring his own troops in respecta- 
ble order. 

The Archduke Charles at Wagram, while he 
certainly failed to manoeuvre his army as skil- 
fully as did Napoleon, counted, and had appar- 
ently a right to count, on the reinforcement of 
his left wing by a corps commanded by his 
brother, the Archduke John, which did not come 
up in time. Doubtless some allowance should 
be made for this. Still, as it was, the Archduke 
fought a very good fight, and pushed the French 
hard. The main battle was on the 6th of July. 

The immense plain of the Marchf eld, on which 
the great battle of Wagram was fought, is as 
flat a tract of country as can be found anywhere, 
and is as well suited for the manoeuvring of 
300,000 men as can be imagined. It is not 
surprising, therefore, to find that marching and 
jnanceuvring are the characteristic features of 



this battle. Of course, there was a great deal of 
hard fighting too ; the Austrians were animated 
by the recollection of Aspern, two months before ; 
the French felt that with a fair field and no 
bridges that could be broken, and with Napoleon 
commanding, they must win. Still, their army, 
though large, was not a homogeneous army, and 
contained troops of various degrees of merit. 

Napoleon, as usual with him, took the offen- 
sive. He found the Archduke occupying gener- 
ally a semicircular position, extending from Neu- 
siedel on the east to a point not very far from 
the Danube on the west. Pushing his corps 
forward, he attacked their left and centre simul- 
taneously. But neither operation was at first 
successful. The Austrian left defended Neu- 
siedel against Davout, and their centre held 
Wagram and Aderklaa against the repeated -ef- 
forts of Bernadotte and Mass^na. Then the 
Archduke took the offensive himself. Bringing 
up his right wing, he pushed it straight towards 
the island of Lobau and the bridges across the 
Danube. Mass^na's efforts against the Austrian 
centre ceased at once, and he hurried off his corp^i 
as fast as it could go towards the threatened 
point. This attack had apparently not been 
foreseen by Napoleon. With his customary skill, 
Massena disposed his troops, holding the most 
essential point in the line, stubbornly defend- 
ing himself, on the whole losing ground, but 
still preserving the communications of the army. 


His departure had left a gap in the French 
line of battle, which it took time to fill, and time 
was precious, for it was evident that the French 
left was outnumbered and that the bridges were 
in serious danger. But Napoleon had watched 
the operation with his accustomed clearness of 
vision. He saw that his best, if not his only 
chance of a victory lay in piercing the Austrian 
centre, in which case their right wing, which was 
fighting Mass^na, would be forced to retire at 
once. He saw the risk he ran of the contest 
at Essling ending in Mass^na's defeat, but he 
knew Mass^na, and he decided to take that risk. 
He again pushed forward Davout, supported by 
Oudinot, against the Austrian left at Neusiedel. 
He himself organized the attack on the centre, 
between Aderklaa and Sussenbrunn. It was to 
consist of two divisions of infantry under the com- 
mand of Macdonald, the cavalry of the Guard 
and the cuirassiers of Nansouty, and an enormous 
artillery force of a hundred pieces of cannon, of 
which sixty belonged to the Guard. It was on 
the fire of this tremendous battery that Napo- 
leon chiefly counted to do the work. He had 
himself been an artillery officer, and in all his 
battles he placed great reliance on that arm of 
the service. In this case, the guns, supported 
by the infantry, were advanced to within a short 
distance of the hostile lines, under a very heavy 
fire. When they opened, the effect was terri- 
]ble. The Austrians were evidently much shaken. 


But Macdonald's divisions had suffered so much 
in the advance that it was impossible for them 
to complete the work of defeat. Seeing this, 
the Emperor at once orders in the cavalry, to- 
gether with two fresh divisions of infantry. By 
this attack the enemy^s lines are soon broken. 
The Archduke Charles has no available reserves 
at this point. His rigRt wing is engaged a long 
way off near Essling ; he perceives by the reced- 
ing smoke that his left wing has been compelled 
to retreat ; in fact, part of the troops of Davout 
and Oudinot are rapidly coming up from Neu- 
siedel to aid in the attack on the Austrian cen- 
tre; there is nothing left but to retire. This 
is effected in good order, the French being too 
much exhausted to pursue their antagonists vig- 

The Austrians in this battle fought with great 
courage and obstinacy. And they were well 
handled by the Archduke Charles, although he 
probably erred in strengthening his right at the 
expense of his centre. But if Mass^na could be 
routed, it was certain that the French must re- 
tire ; and the Archduke thought that his centre 
could hold its own until the superior force which 
he had directed against Massena should have 
gained the bridges. In this he was mistaken, to 
be sure ; but it was a very close thing. Had the 
Archduke John come up as it was expected he 
would, and had the Austrian left wing, thus 
strengthened, been able not only to repel the 

' Oercudorf 

o ledlersdorf 

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^reitenlee ^^ 

i\ ii J, 




■ ■j[«Es8ling 


• Enzersdorf 





July 6th, 1809. 

Scale of Miles. 


Prencli Headquarters, 

■ Anstrians, 

"^ Austrian Headquarters. 


TlLSir TO MOSCOW. 149 

attacks of Davout and Oudinot against Neusie- 
del, but to take the offensive, Napoleon's attack 
on the Austrian centre must have failed utterly. 
And if, with or without the aid of the Archduke, 
the left could have maintained itself, Napoleon's 
attack on the centre would have failed of half 
its effect. It may be remarked, also, that the 
Austrian right in its movement against Mass^na 
ran no such risk of being cut off as did the Rus- 
sian left wing at Austerlitz ; its line of retreat 
was always open. On the other hand, there is 
no reason to suppose that Napoleon's skill was 
not what it had been at Friedland or Austerlitz ; 
the whole cause of the difference between the 
victory of Wagram and those just mentioned lay 
in the fact that the Austrian commander here 
made no blunders. Napoleon was here pitted 
against a master in the art military. He won, it 
is true, but that was all. He did not destroy 
or entirely cripple his antagonist. 

Nevertheless, the battle of Wagram was a ter- 
rible blow to Austria, although she still had pow- 
erful armies in the field. It discouraged her. 
Negotiations began, and peace was at last con- 
cluded at Vienna. Its terms were perhaps not 
unreasonable, taking into account that Austria 
had begun the war without any provocation. To 
the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, which in the be- 
ginning of the war had been invaded by an 
Austrian army, was added a large part of Aus- 
trian Poland. Bavaria likewise received a large 


accession of territory. The lUyrian provinces of 
Austria on the Adriatic were ceded to France, 
thus shutting out Austria from the sea. The 
Empire of Napoleon reached at this moment its 
largest extension of territory. 

Let us pause a moment here in our narrative. 
The continent, with the exception of Spain, was 
at peace. In that unhappy country, war, and 
war of the worst kind, was still raging. The 
Spanish liberals had, as a rule, preferred to stand 
by their old monarchy, intolerant, oppressive, and 
inefficient as it was, rather than accept the only 
mode by which Spain could receive the benefits 
of the new system. But in Italy, Holland, west- 
em Germany, and Poland a great improvement 
in the condition of the middle and lower classes, 
and also a marked change in the notions of gov- 
ernment entertained by the ruling classes, had 
been effected, and was bringing seK-respect, hap- 
piness, prosperity, and a laudable ambition to 
those who, under the old order of things, had not 
only always been oppressed by a sense of legal 
and political inferiority, but had also grievously 
suffered in their persoqs and property from un- 
just and unequal legislation. This change had 
certainly not been effected without war ; it had 
not been effected without a radical alteration in 
the European " balance of power ; " it had come 
about chiefly, as you have seen, as the result 
of wars which were undertaken against France 
to restore the balance of power, and to bring 


back the old order of things in government and 
legislation. But it had not come about as the 
result of any purpose of Napoleon's to extend 
his Empire, or to propagate the new system at 
the point of the bayonet. Napoleon's course in 
Spain is undoubtedly open to these criticisms; 
but I submit that they cannot fairly be made in 
respect to his course with regard to Italy, west- 
em Germany, or Poland. These countries came 
under his disposition as the result of wars in 
which he was, though the party ultimately vic- 
torious, the party originally attacked. 

England still continued the war. To force 
her to make peace Napoleon established what 
was known as the Continental System, which was 
simply the exclusion of English trade from the 
continent, a measure which, while it undoubt- 
edly brought the English merchants and manu- 
facturers to the brink of ruin, caused among the 
peoples of the continent also great and wide- 
spread distress. This was not so manifest in 
France, where the various industries of the peo- 
ple enabled them to dispense to a great extent 
with English products ; it was most severely felt 
in Russia, which depended largely on English 
commerce for the sale of her staples. 

So long as England kept up the war, stand- 
ing ready, as she always did, to assist with her 
subsidies any continental nation that might de- 
sire to join her in a new attempt to break down 
Napoleon, — so long as Russia, her military re- 


sources undiminished, was chafing and suffering 
under the system which destroyed her commerce, 
— no one could feel that the international con- 
flict which had begun in 1792 was over. Still, 
for the present, at any rate, the continental hori- 
zon was clear ; the Empire of Napoleon seemed 
to be firmly established and to be working well. 
The Emperor himself was untiring in his labors* 
for the improvement of the condition of the peo- 
ple and the development of the resources of the 
country. Every year added to the hold which 
the new system was acquiring over the modes of 
thought of the peoples of Italy, Germany, France. 
Let but this state of things continue twenty years 
longer, and the west of Europe at any rate 
would safely pass through its epoch of transi- 
tion, and might defy the worst efforts of the oli- 
garchical and legitimist nations to bring back 
the old regime. 

But how much this possibility of continuing 
thd present state of things depended on the life 
of one man ! That was the thought which was 
continually arising to interfere with the prospect 
of stability. Nobody could succeed Napoleon. 
Whether one turned towards France, or looked" 
across the border, it was plain that on his death, 
unless that event was to be deferred to the dim 
future, there was certain to be trouble. Nor 
was this forecast of danger much mended by the 
establishment of the Empire. True, the succes- 
sion to the throne was defined strictly in the con- 


stitution. The Emperor had, to be sure^ no 
children, but for this contingency the constitu- 
tion had made provision. His brothers, and their 
issue would in this event become in turn entitled. 
There was no difficulty about the law, and the 
law, if not satisfactory, could have been easily 
changed. The trouble lay in this, that neither 
the Emperor's brothers, nor his stepson Eugene, 
nor any of his marshals, nor any one else whom 
he might make the heir to his crown, could hope 
to command the obedience of France, still less to 
maintain the Empire. Jealousy, insubordination, 
open hostility were certain to arise, should either 
one who was merely the brother or stepson of 
the great Emperor assume to wield his sceptre, 
or should any one of those generals who had sim- 
ultaneously received the marshal's baton under- 
take to command his peers. The difficulty lay 
in the very nature of man. It seemed as if there 
was no way out of it. 

Yet some of those about Napoleon thought 
they could see a chance of escape. If, said they, 
Napoleon could leave his heritage to a son of his 
own, he might die without anxiety. Hundreds 
of thousands of bayonets would protect that boy's 
claim to his father's throne. His advent to power 
would clash with no one's pretensions, would 
awaken no jealousies, arouse no animosities. 
Child though he might be when some chance 
bullet found its way to his father's heart, he would 
possess power, to him would be transferred the 


allegiance of the soldiers, the ready obedience of 
the people, for he would be Napoleon's son. 

There was, to my thinking, a good deal in this 
reasoning. It was sound enough as far as it 
went. It would have been an exceedingly de- 
sirable thing for France if Napoleon could have 
had a son. It would have been far preferable 
to devolving the crown upon the brothers or the 
marshals. No doubt whatever about that. But 
Napoleon had no son by the Empress Josephine, 
and was not likely to have one. Then, it was 
argued, let him divorce the Empress Josephine 
and marry another wife. The good of the coun- 
try demands this sacrifice. Done as an act of 
public duty, the divorce would be justifiable. 

It is hardly necessary to point out the fallacy 
of this reasoning. To those who have any re- 
gard for the sacredness of the marriage tie, the 
suggestion that it may be justifiably broken, 
provided the motive be to benefit the public, is 
as inadmissible as would be the suggestion that 
an innocent man may be justifiably killed, pro- 
vided only the motive be to benefit the public. 
Among those, however, who surrounded Napo- 
leon were many who took a very low view of the 
obligation of the marriage relation, and a very 
practical view of the political desirability of Na- 
poleon's having a son and heir. For years they 
had been urging the divorce of Josephine upon 
him, and for years he had resisted. In an evil 
hour he yielded to the arguments which were so 


constantly thrust upon his notice. Josephine, at 
his desire, reluctantly gave her consent. The 
whole affair was managed without any attempt at 
concealment ; the Emperor and Empress carried 
themselves throughout with great dignity and 
propriety of demeanor ; and, to the honor of the 
French people be it said, no voice was raised in 
slanderous accusation or insinuation. All this 
is, I think, true, and it ought to be remembered. 
Still, to divorce man and wife on grounds of 
state policy is at complete variance with our 
ethical notions respecting marriage. We ought, 
however, to remember that this divorce pro- 
ceeded from no unworthy or scandalous grounds. 
Both Napoleon and Josephine are entitled to be 
treated with respect in this matter. But it is 
impossible to approve his course. 

By his marriage to the Austrian Archduchess 
Maria Louisa and the subsequent birth of a son. 
Napoleon seemed to have indeed consolidated his 
power, and to have assured for France and for 
the continent a long period of peace and pros- 
perity. It was taken for granted that by this 
union the alliance of Austria was rendered cer- 
tain, and that the two powers together could set- 
tle the poKcy of Europe. 

These happy prognostications were, however, 
to be disappointed. The principal cause of the 
wars between France and Austria was not a 
djnaastic rivalry between the Hapsburgs and 
the Bonapartes, capable of being terminated by 


a marriage between representatives of the two 
famUies. Nothing of the sort. There were in 
reality two causes for the wars which had been 
devastating the continent for the last eighteen 
years. The first in order of time was the great 
social and political Revolution begun by France 
in 1789, and carried by her into the territories 
of her neighbors. At the epoch of which we 
are now speaking, however, 1810, this cause had 
apparently lost much of its force, or, perhaps, it 
would be more correct to say that the second of 
the two causes, alarm at the extension and gi*ow- 
ing power of the Empire of Napoleon, had to a 
great extent supplanted the first in men's minds ; 
yet the fundamental differences in legal and po- 
litical status which existed between the French 
Empire and the other states of Europe continued 
to the end of the Napoleonic conflict to be a most 
efficient barrier in the way of a permanent 
peace, and a constant incitement to war. In 
the French Empire there were equal rights, no 
exemptions, no privileges, no monopoly by the 
nobility of the honors and employments of the 
public service. Between such a country and 
such nations as Russia, Austria, and Prussia, 
where the general system of things was the 
entire opposite of this, both in theory and prac- 
tice, it was not possible for any cordial under- 
standing to exist so soon after the French Revo- 
lution. Such essential differences in the ideas 
of nations in regard to the fundamentals of civil- 


ization and government have again and again in 
the world's history been the cause of war. Wit- 
ness, in ancient history, the Peloponnesian war, 
— a contest, by the way, very like in some re- 
spects to this of the Napoleonic era, where Ath- 
ens stands for France and Sparta for England, 
and where, underlying all the particular causes 
of quarrel, is the great difference between Ath- 
ens and Sparta in their views of government. 
In modern times, there is our own civil war, 
in which culminated " the irrepressible conflict " 
between the civiHzations of the slave-holding 
and the free States. 

At the time of which we are now speaking, 
however, the second of the two causes, alarm at 
the enormous aggrandizement of the Empire of 
Napoleon, was certainly more prominent in men's 
minds. So far, every coalition against him had 
not only been defeated, but the result of each 
defeat had been to strengthen and increase his 
power. Austria and Prussia had been crippled. 
They had lost terribly in men and money, and 
they had been obliged to cede a large part of 
their territories. Nor was this all. These con- 
quered districts, which were incorporated into 
the French Empire, by the very act of adopting 
the new system of equal rights, could not but 
array themselves in opposition to their former 
political affiliations ; could not but adopt views 
of government diametrically opposed to those 
held at St. Petersburg, Vienna, Berlin ; could not 


but maintain a close alliance with France. The 
French Empire, in fact, seemed capable of over- 
powering all its neighbors. It was no longer 
a question of driving French influence out of 
Germany, or of restoring Lombardy and Venice 
to the House of Austria. The question was 
larger than this : it was whether or not France 
and French ideas should dominate the continent 
from the Vistula to the Tagus. 

Here, then, were the two causes of war, each 
of them adequate of itself : first, the underlying 
hostility with which the states which adhered to 
the old order of things regarded the French 
Empire, with its radically opposite constitution, 
so destructive of those institutions which to the 
privileged classes in Russia, Austria, Prussia, and 
England seemed to be essential to the welfare 
of civilized society; and, secondly, the natural 
alarm at the enormous preponderance which 
France had so recently acquired. It is plain to 
every student of history that here was an " irre- 
pressible conflict " in regard to the fundamen- 
tal notions of civilized government, which, hav- 
ing originally been the cause of the coalitions 
against France, had since occasioned such sud- 
den, great, and violent disturbances in the bal- 
ance of power in Europe that further shocks 
were sure to come. 

Accordingly, you will find, I think, nowhere a 
clear statement of the causes of the great wax 
between Russia and the rest of the continent in 


1812. There was no doubt a mistrust on the 
part of the Czar of the Emperor's intentions 
in regard to Poland, dating from the augmen- 
tation of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw by a 
part of Austrian Galicia, which was provided 
for in the Treaty of Vienna. There was a 
grievance of Russia regarding the continental 
system. There was a grievance of France re- 
garding a Russian tariff. There was the incor- 
poration of the little Duchy of Oldenburg into 
the French Empire, for which for a while the 
Czar refused to accept either apology or equiva- 
lent. But these, with perhaps the exception of 
the Polish question, were probably all pretexts. 
The fact was, that all the three great monarchies 
of the continent only waited for a chance to re- 
cover their power and prestige, and to roll back 
the tide of modern ideas in government and leg- 
islation. Austria in 1809 had no casus belli ; 
she had no grievance, hardly a pretext, but she 
attacked Napoleon because she thought he was 
embarrassed and entangled in Spain. In like 
manner Russia determined on war in 1810. 
With all convenient speed she completed her 
conquest of Finland. She sounded public opin- 
ion in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, which she 
greatly coveted. She endeavored to bring her 
war with Turkey to a conclusion. She began 
the preparation of formidable armaments. She 
communicated her intentions to the courts of 
Vienna and Berlin. For various reasons, how- 


ever, she could not get ready as soon as she had 
at first intended, but she placed a large part of 
her army on the frontier. Napoleon likewise 
strengthened his force in the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw and increased the garrison of Dantzic. 
During the next two years negotiations went on 
constantly between St. Petersburg and Paris. 
Russia's peculiar complaint was this, that Napo- 
leon refused to pledge himself never under any 
circumstances to restore Poland. At the same 
time, he said that to restore Poland was no part 
of his plans. Whether Russia really feared the 
reestablishment of Poland, or merely pretended 
to do so, it is not easy to say. It was certainly 
of vital importance to her to retain her Polish 
provinces. But it was not so much the ques- 
tion of retaining what she had, as of adding 
to it, that was at the bottom of her military 
activity. There is conclusive evidence of Alex- 
ander's schemes, concocted when a nominal ally 
and friend of Napoleon, for conquering and in- 
corporating into his empire the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw.^ That Napoleon might have avoided 
the war is perhaps probable ; but it is certain 
that Alexander might have done so. The latter 
seems to have been the first to take up the idea 
of war ; he seems to have regarded a contest be- 
tween himself and Napoleon as inevitable. The 
truth was, that in the enormous aggrandizement 
of the French Empire which resulted from the 

1 See Appendix IV. 


defeat of the Prussian and Russian coalition in 
1807, and of Austria's isolated attack in 1809, 
people lost sight of the fact that in neither of 
these wars was the French Emperor the aggres- 
sor. Up to this time, certainly, with the excep- 
tion of Spain, Napoleon cannot be charged with 
having entered on a career of conquest. His 
conquests had been made in wars begun by his 
enemies. It may be, as most people believe, 
that in 1812 Napoleon wantonly invaded Russia. 
The enormous extent of his preparations and 
the time occupied in organizing the army of in- 
vasion, certainly support this theory. Neverthe- 
less, I think it on the whole far more probable 
that the Russian war was in its causes and ob- 
jects essentially like the Prussian war of 1806 and 
the Austrian war of 1809 ; that is, that it was un- 
dertaken by Russia in the hope of changing the 
existing state of things in Europe, and breaking 
down the increasing influence of Prance. She 
expected to remain on the defensive, and to be 
invaded. But she believed that the task of con- 
quering her immense and barren country would 
be an impossible one even for the genius of Na- 
poleon ; and, if she did not actually entertain the 
hope of some such catastrophe happening as 
that which subsequently occurred, yet she did 
expect that she would be able in the end to 
parry the blows and to break the prestige of the 
great conqueror, and then to place herself at 
the head of a new coalition into which, as she 


well knew, Austria and Prussia would eagerly 

On the other hand Napoleon, in accepting the 
challenge, hoped to be able, as the result of the 
war, to reestablish Poland. It was only sixteen 
years since the last partition. The country was 
ripe for insurrection. Already had the hopes of 
the patriots been excited by the establishment of 
the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. For some years 
Polish regiments had served in the French ar- 
mies. The invasion of Russia was not like other 
invasions. In his march to Moscow, Napoleon 
would not set foot on hostile ground until he 
should reach the city of Smolensk. Kowno, 
Wilna, Polotsk, Witepsk, Minsk, the whole pop- 
ulation for nearly two thirds of the distance 
from the Prussian frontier to Moscow, were cer- 
tain to receive the French with open arms. Na- 
poleon had a right to consider that if the result 
of the war should be to rescue this unhappy 
country from the grasp of the Russian Czar, 
to reorganize it on sound and liberal principles 
of government, so that it might again resume 
its place among the nations of the earth, man- 
kind would not be likely to accuse him of hav- 
ing committed a very heinous offence. Such 
a result of the war would be, in fact, a great 
benefit conferred upon the world. I do not 
think he went to war for this purpose. But 
I have no question that he intended that this 
should be the outcome of the struggle. And I 


am free to say that I think it was a great mis- 
fortune for Europe and especially for Russia, 
that Napoleon's enterprise failed, and that the 
cause of Poland perished in the snows of that 
terrible winter. 

I have not time to give the details of the im- 
mense preparations made by Napoleon for this gi- 
gantic expedition. He recognized fully the pecu- 
liar military difficulties of the task, arising from 
the nature of the soil and the great extent of 
country to be traversed. His arrangements for 
forage and provisions were on an enormdus scale. 
Everything was done that human foresight 
could suggest to provide for the subsistence of 
450,000 men in a country which could not be 
expected to furnish anything like the entire sup- 
port needed for the troops and their horses. 

All the nations of the continent except Tur- 
key had their contingents in the grand army. 
That of Prussia was to operate on the extreme 
left ; that of Austria on the extreme right. Be- 
tween these outlying corps, the Emperor organ- 
ized three armies. The left or northernmost 
one, comprising three corps of infantry and the 
Guard, with three cavalry corps under Murat, 
numbering in all about 225,000 men, under the 
Emperor himself, crossed the Niemen at Kowno 
on the 23d of June, 1812, and marched straight 
upon Wilna, where it arrived on the 28th. 
Here the city authorities welcomed Napoleon and 
presented him the keys of the city in due form. 


The Viceroy Eugene, with two corps, comprising 
about 75,000 men, crossed the river at Pilany, 
to the south of Kowno, about the first of July, 
and marched also on Wilna. The. Emperor's 
brother Jerome, with three corps of infantry 
and one of cavalry, making altogether a force 
of about 80,000 men, crossed the Niemen on the 
30th of June at Grodno, still further to the south. 
The Russians had formed two principal ar* 
mies : the first or main army under Barclay 
de Tolly, with its headquarters at Wilna ; the 
second under Prince Bagration, with its head- 
quarters at Wolkowysk, a place a considerable 
distance to the south. The Russian generals 
made the mistake of underestimating the force 
which the French Emperor could collect at such 
an immense distance from his own country ; 
they supposed that he would be able only to 
form one considerable army. This, they rightly 
judged, would be directed upon Wilna. Alex- 
ander had calculated also on the neutrality of 
Prussia and Austria. Barclay also expected to 
have plenty of time to concentrate his main 
army, and, in falling back to the interior, to be 
able to obstruct and delay his adversary. The 
part which Bagration's army was to play was to 
operate on the flank of Napoleon's army, and 
harass its operations. But the army under 
Jerome directed against Bagration's force was 
something he had not counted upon ; and the 
army under the Viceroy, manoeuvring, as it did. 


between the two Russian armies, not only pre- 
served the flanks of the two main French col- 
umns from annoyance, but threatened the move- 
ments of both the Russian armies, and specially 
of the southern one under Bagration. Further- 
more, the Emperor marched so quickly upon 
Wilna that Barclay had all he could possibly do 
to assemble his own army, and some of its 
detachments were even cut off and obliged to 
attach themselves to the second army. 

Both Barclay and Bagration, therefore, found 
themselves obliged to fall back in haste. But in 
Bagration's rear were the marshes of the Bere- 
sina, over which there were but two or three 
practicable roads. To occupy these and so cut 
the second Russian army off from all possibility 
of uniting with the first army under Barclay de 
Tolly, was now Napoleon's aim. Eugene's force 
was, as we have seen, unable to cross the Niemen 
simultaneously with the army commanded by the 
Emperor. Napoleon therefore detached from 
his own army Davout, with a large force, who 
moved in a southeasterly direction endeavoring 
to reach the important points in this region 
before Bagration. He was to cooperate with 
ferome, but his superiority to the Emperor's 
Drother was so manifest that Napoleon soon gave 
him the command of Jerome's force in addition 
to his own. Davout acted with his usual activ- 
ity and military capacity ; but he could not cut 
off the Russian general, who, moving very rap- 


idly by a large circle to the southward, finally 
brought up at Smolensk about the 3d of August. 
Meantime the first Russian army, under Bar* 
clay de Tolly, on evacuating Wilna, gave Napo- 
leon a great opportunity, which he unaccountably 
failed to improve. Previous to the declaration of 
war the Russian military authorities had thought 
it wise to fortify in advance an entrenched 
camp to which both their armies could retire, 
where, it was to be hoped, they would be able to 
hold their own behind regularly constructed 
works. They had selected for this purpose the 
position of Drissa, a town lying more than a 
hundred miles northeast of Wilna. A glance 
at the map will show the mistake of making 
such a choice as this. It is to the north of the 
main road to Smolensk, and its occupation thus 
not only left that road open to the French, but 
enabled them completely to interpose between 
the two Russian armies. Nevertheless there 
Barclay went. He got there on the 11th of 
July. But when once there the absurdity of the 
situation dawned upon the Russians. In three 
days they left their carefully prepared redoubts 
and were off on the road to Smolensk. Their 
movements were quickened by hearing that Na- 
poleon was trying to gain this road so as to be 
between them and Smolensk. Why he did not 
succeed in doing this, it is impossible to say. 
No doubt he was detained at Wilna by the cares 
of the enormous army under his charge. But it 


' Opsa 


U Sventzaini 


fwiLNA ^ 


^rgoni . 



^o Stwlianka 

Minsk ^ 







Allies, • 

Bussians, B ■ 

Napoleon's Headquarters, ^ 

Davout's H X 

Jerome's „ B 

Barclay de Tolly's ,i -^ 
Bagration's •• X 



X ^^ 







> Nevel 






'i Novoi liepel 



^ Babinowitschi 




Starol Bichow i 


Scale of Miles. 

to 80 40 60 


Situation of the Allied and Ruaaian Armlaa on 
July 14th. 1812. 



does seem that if Napoleon had manoeuvred on 
his arrival at Wilna with anything like the ac- 
tivity and energy which he displayed three years 
before in the opening of the last Austrian cam- 
paign at Abensberg and Eckmuhl, he would 
have thrown Barclay back upon St. Petersburg, 
if not upon the Baltic sea. 

As it was, however, Barclay gained Smolensk 
before him, and united his army to that of Prince 
Bagration. The Russian forces now nimibered 
some 117,000 men. It was the 12th of Au- 
gust. The French columns which composed the 
main army were much exhausted and in great 
need of repose. On approaching Smolensk, Na- 
poleon halted on the north side of the Dneiper 
to give his soldiers needed rest. Of the eight 
corps which had crossed the Niemen, three were 
detached and posted on the lines of communica- 
tion. The remaining five had suffered greatly 
on the march ; the Guard had, however, suffered 
less than the other troops. The- four cavalry 
corps had lost severely in horses from fatigue. 
Probably, Napoleon's force at Smolensk, deduc- 
tion being made for these losses, and for garri- 
sons and detachments at various points on the 
line of march, did not exceed 150,000 men. 

For convenience* sake the French corps were 
somewhat separated from each other. The Rus- 
sian generals conceived the idea of attacking 
them while in this condition. Moving from 
Smolensk in a northwesterly direction with great 


circumspection, they simply gave warning of 
their purpose. In a moment Napoleon united 
his forces, crossed the Dneiper, which here runs 
from east to west, a Kttle to the west of Smo- 
lensk, and marched upon the city, the principal 
part of which is situated on the southern bank 
of the river. But the Russian troops who were 
encountered defended themselves obstinately and 
showed an admirablev countenance ; the alarm 
was sent to the Russian headquarters \ and be- 
fore the attack could be made Smolensk was 
held by a force of a hundred thousand men. 

Why Napoleon attacked this city it is not per- 
haps quite easy to see. Superior as the French 
were in numbers, an occupation in force of the 
great road between Smolensk and Moscow might 
certainly have been made, and the Russian army 
must have evacuated the town. Probably he 
thought his own army needed the encourage- 
ment of a successful battle, and that, if he com- 
pelled the retirement of the enemy by manoeu- 
vring, his own soldiers would lose courage, and 
feel that they were being drawn farther and 
farther into an unknown country without even 
having a chance to show in a fair fight that they 
could bring the war to a sudden and glorious 
termination. If this was his object, he certainly 
miscalculated, for the action at Smolensk, — it 
can scarcely be called a battle, — was indecisive, 
though very bloody. 

The night after the battle the Russians evacu- 


ated the town. But from some incomprehensi- 
ble motive, Barclay's army did not retire at once 
on the Moscow road, but made a detour to the 
north, leaving the troops of Bagration to take 
the straight road. Ney at once attacked them, 
but was severely handled. Napoleon then or- 
dered Junot to move to Ney's assistance, and if 
he had done so, a decisive advantage must have 
been gained, as Barclay's army could not possi- 
bly have joined the force that was attacked in 
season to prevent a disaster. But Junot would 
not stir. The disease which finally incapacitated 
him for active service, insanity, had begun to 
show itself. Thus the opportunity offered at 
Valoutina was also lost, and the united Russian 
armies stood between Napoleon and Moscow. 

I have no doubt that it was no part of the 
original plan of Napoleon to advance beyond 
Smolensk. The evidence for this is very strong, 
and there is every reason to believe it. He 
probably expected to repeat on a grand scale the 
experience of 1806 and 1807 in Poland and East 
Prussia. He had then wintered, and even ma- 
noeuvred and fought during the winter, in a 
country situated on nearly the same parallels of 
latitude as the region in which he was now oper- 
ating. He saw, therefore, no insurmountable dif- 
ficulty in passing the winter of 1812 and 1813 
in Lithuania, a friendly country, which, during 
his stay at its capital, Wilna, he had organized as 
a military department, and where he had every 


reason to expect that the immense stores which 
he had accumulated in Germany and which could 
not be carried in the wake of his rapidly march- 
ing armies, had now been safely transported. 
He also, without doubt, had counted on winning 
a decisive victory before arriving at Smolensk. 
This he had not succeeded in doing ; and he 
could not but recognize among the generals 
and in the army generally a restlessness and an 
uneasiness hitherto unknown, and also a feel- 
ing of profound disappointment, which he him- 
self could not help sharing, that this great ex- 
pedition had so far accomplished so little. One 
great victory would change this atmosphere to 
one of confidence and elation. True, if he went 
beyond Smolensk it must be to go to Moscow, 
and Moscow is 280 miles from Smolensk. And 
if he should go to Moscow, he might have to re- 
treat from Moscow. There was certainly that 
chance. On the other hand, there was the Rus- 
sian army between him and the capital, and he 
was sure that they would never give up the Holy 
City without a great battle. This battle he felt 
confident of winning. He would be able to 
bring to the task a good army, worn and tired, 
to be sure, but still certain to be alert and vig- 
orous on the day of trial, lieutenants of great 
ability and experience, and his own unrivalled 
energy and skill. To oppose this the Russians 
had simply their obstinate courage to rely upon, 
He knew they would fight hard, but he saw 


no reason why he could not be reasonably sure 
of beating them, and thus winning the prize 
of Moscow. Once there, he expected that the 
Czar would treat for peace. 

Accordingly he again set his army in motion. 
The Russians fell back before him. But this 
continual retreating before the invader had be- 
gun to try even Russian patience and obedience. 
People thought that Barclay de Tolly and Bagra- 
tion had fallen back far enough. The original 
intention was that both the Russian armies 
should unite at the camp at Drissa, and there 
fight for the defence of the Empire. But Na- 
poleon, as we have seen, had prevented this. 
Lithuania was now entirely under French con- 
trol. Still, the separated Russian forces had 
now at last effected a junction. The army was 
anxious to measure swords with the foreigner, 
who was now no longer treading the soil of the 
recently acquired Polish province of Lithuania, 
but that of old Russia. A change was called 
for, and Prince Koutousof, an old and distin- 
guished officer, took command of the forces of 
Barclay and Bagration. This meant that Mos- 
cow should not be given up without a battle. 

On the 4th of September the French came 
up with the Russians in position near the little 
village of Borodino, on the banks of the Moskwa. 
The men of both armies prepared for a desper- 
ate conflict; the French to fight as men will 
fight in an unknpwn and hostile region, thou- 


sands of miles from home, where victory is their 
only salvation ; the Russians to fight for their 
homes and their country. 

The whole of the 6th was spent by Napoleon 
in a personal, close, and careful examination 
of the enemy's lines. They were strongly en- 
trenched. Several redoubts, besides other works, 
increased the defensive capacity of a position 
naturally good, and gave every chance that 
could be desired to an infantry of well-known 
steadiness and endurance. It was clear that 
this was to be no Austerlitz, no Jena, no Fried- 
land. If the Russians were to be driven from 
the field here, it must be by main force.^ 

It would be in vain for me to attempt to give 
you in this lecture the terrible details of the 
bloody battle of Borodino. The main French 
movement was directed against the Russian left ; 
but partly from hindrances occasioned by the 
nature of the country, and partly from the ob- 
stinate resistance everywhere encountered, it did 
not succeed in accomplishing what was expected 
of it. Ney attacked the Russian centre, and was 
the hero of the day. The Viceroy commanded 
on the left. The grand redoubt in the centre 
of the Russian position was captured and re- 
captured more than once. The Russians had 
a strong position and excellent infantry ; the 
French were superior in cavalry and artillery. 
The battle was fought at close quarters, and the 

^ See Appendix Y. 


carnage was terrible. The Russians admitted a 
loss of 50,000 men. Bagration was mortally 
wounded. The French probably lost at least 
30,000. The Russian commander fought a 
strictly defensive battle, and he fought it skil- 
fully. Whenever the assailants seemed to have 
gained a point, Koutousof brought up fresh 
troops from other parts of the field, and for 
hours he maintained his position substantially in- 
tact. At last, however, the superior fighting of 
the French began to tell. One by one the Rus- 
sians were forced out of their works. Davout, 
Ney, and Prince Eugene united their commands, 
and beat back the Russian left and centre. It 
was evident to these experienced officers that a 
severe blow struck now would do the business for 
the army of Koutousof. They sent to the Em- 
peror, and begged him to put in the Guard. Na- 
poleon hesitated ; he had not been able to see 
for himself what was happening as clearly as he 
generally could in a battle, owing to the nature 
of the Russian position, and he was by no means 
sure that they had not other reserves. Bessieres, 
who commanded the cavalry of the Guard, re- 
minded him that he was more than 1,500 miles 
from Paris. Napoleon would not give the order. 
The exhausted troops at the front went on fight- ' 
ing and did their best ; but the Russian army, 
though dreadfully cut up, still maintained its 
order and discipline, and, faUing back a short 
distance, gave up to the French only the field of 


This refusal of Napoleon's to put in the Guard 
at Borodino has been severely criticised, and I 
think with reason. He himself defended it on 
the ground that it was absolutely necessary for 
him to have a corps d^ elite to rely upon in case 
of disaster, such as happened in the retreat from 
Russia. But such considerations are out of 
place, in a death struggle Hke Borodino. In 
fact, if Napoleon did not mean to fight the 
Guard, it was a mistake to advance beyond Smo- 
lensk ; for advancing beyond Smolensk meant a 
great battle, and it is not common sense to en- 
gage in a great battle and not do your uttermost 
to win it. In other words, if the Guard was to 
be reserved in the day of battle, the question for 
the Emperor in advancing beyond Smolensk was 
whether, with the rest of the army without the 
Guard, he could reasonably count on a decisive 
victory ; if he could not answer this question in 
the affirmative, and he certainly could not have 
done so, it was clearly unwise to advance beyond 
Smolensk. But, in point of fact. Napoleon did 
count the Guard in when he made his calcula- 
tions for the advance to Moscow ; he undoubt- 
edly intended to put it in whenever the critical 
moment should arrive ; yet when, from the best 
information he could get, that moment had ar- 
rived, he yielded, in a way very unlike himself, 
to the suggestions of an unwise caution. It was 
a terrible mistake : the Russian Colonel Bour- 
tourlin, in his admirable history, states that, had 


Napoleon put in the Guard at three in the after- 
noon, he would have succeeded in overwhelming 
the Russian army, and that he could have com- 
pleted its rout during the four hours of daylight 
yet remaining. Had the Russian army been de- 
stroyed as an organization, Alexander would prob- 
ably have made peace; but as his army fell 
back in perfect order, it was simply necessary to 
recruit and reinforce it to make it as formidable 
as ever. Hence Napoleon gained nothing by the 
battle except the undisturbed road to Moscow, 
where he arrived on the 14th of September. 



Napoleon had arrived at Moscow. He had 
with him somewhat over 100,000 men, a good 
deal tired out, to be sure, and a large park of ar- 
tillery. His cavalry, though numerous, was not 
in good condition, having suffered much from 
lack of forage. But he now expected to be able 
to repair all these defects. He had, moreover, 
arranged for reinforcements being sent to him 
from the various depots. The army was ably 
commanded. It is unnecessary to speak of the 
military capacity of Davout and Ney. The 
Viceroy Eugene had throughout this campaign 
"showed that he possessed the highest qualities as 
a corps commander. Murat was unrivalled as a 
leader of cavalry. Besides these men of the first 
distinction were many other officers whose capa- 
city and courage had made them men of mark. 
The weather was excellent. The Russian au- 
tumn is a good deal like our own, and no 
months in the year are finer than September and 
October. The army had arrived at its objective 
point, and was looking forward to rest, recruit- 
ment, a speedy peace, and a safe return. 


You all know how these expectations were 
disappointed; how Count Rostopchin, the gov- 
ernor of Moscow, after vainly trying to get old 
Koutousof to fight another battle for the de- 
fence of the city, proposed its abandonment as a 
patriotic duty; how the inhabitants, animated 
with a desperate hate of the invaders, only to be 
found among a people imperfectly civilized, fell 
in witji the Count's suggestion, and, before the 
arrival of the French, left the doomed city ; how 
Rostopchin then set fire to it, and how during 
the three days of the conflagration nine tenths 
of the city were laid in ashes. 

No more appalling catastrophe ever befell an 
invading army. It could not but have a pro- 
found effect even upon the veteran soldiery of 
Napoleon, — nay, upon Napoleon himself. It 
should have convinced him of the implacable 
hostility of his enemy; that to negotiate for 
peace was useless, and worse than useless, for it 
consumed valuable time, and a Russian vnnter 
was approaching. 

A reasonable time certainly it was worth while 
to stay in Moscow, sufficient to refresh the troops 
and rest the worn-out horses. Let it even be 
granted that it was worth while to send an en- 
voy to St. Petersburg, and to wait until he 
should have had time enough to deliver his mes- 
sage and to return. But to wait longer than 
this was simply to tempt fortune. It is true 
that there was still plenty of accommodation for 



the troops. There were also provisions enough 
in Moscow to last the men for many weeks. But 
after these should be exhausted, there was no 
means of procuring more. For an army to oc- 
cupy a large and populous city is one thing ; to 
occupy the houses in which the population for- 
merly Uved is a very different thing. In the one 
case the army merely increases the population of 
the city ; and it avails itself of the usual chan- 
nels by which the population is supplied with 
food. In the other case there is no such machin- 
ery to be availed of ; the army must supply itself. 

But, even if with the strictest economy the 
troops themselves could have been fed during 
the long Russian winter from the stores found in 
the cellars and magazines of Moscow, there was 
no hope of finding anywhere sufficient forage 
for the horses ; and an army without horses is 
helpless. There was therefore nothing to do, 
but to prepare to go, and the sooner the prepara- 
tions could be made, the better on all accounts. 

Yet Napoleon lingered. A retreat through a 
desolate and hostile country was likely to be ac- 
companied with considerable losses of men and 
material. Moreover to retreat was to confess 
himself foiled, that the object of the war had 
not been attained. To avoid this painful neces- 
sity it was, he thought, justifiable to risk some- 
thing. He thought it possible that Alexander 
might still recede from his high ground, and 
negotiate for peace. He waited, in the hope 


that fortune might have some good thing in 
store for him. But luck never helps a man who 
relies on it. The only sound and rational course 
in any emergency is to be governed by the ascer- 
tained facts and to act on them, without regard 
to a possible turn of the tide. If Alexander in- 
tended to treat with Napoleon at Moscow, Napo- 
leon would have heard of it in a week or ten 
days at furthest. When that time had elapsed 
without any negotiation being begun, the only 
thing to do was to get the army into safe winter- 

This, though doubtless a difficult task, was by 
no manner of means an impracticable one, had 
Napoleon set about it seriously and in good sea- 
son. There was an abundance of horses, such 
as they were, and an abundance of wagons of all 
sorts. There were certainly provisions for two or 
three weeks, besides plenty of superfluous horses, 
which would furnish an excellent substitute for 
beef. There was also no difficulty in supplying 
the troops with winter clothing. The officers 
generally did provide themselves with furs. And 
it would have been easy to obtain sheepskin 
coats, such as are worn by the Russian peasantry, 
for every private in the ranks. The army might 
have left Moscow provided for every emergency 
so far as the men were concerned, certainly until 
Smolensk should have been reached. As for the 
horses, forage could have been found for them 
by taking roads not hitherto traversed. But in 


order to carry all this out successfully it was nec- 
essary for Napoleon to bend his mind to it ; to 
realize fully the difficulties of his position, and 
to feel that in the emergency in which he now 
found himself, it would be a great feat for him, 
a task, moreover, to which he was called by every 
consideration of honor and duty, to bring the 
army back in good order and condition. This, 
however, seems really not to have seriously en- 
tered his mind. He appears to have shut his eyes 
to the perils which were manifest to every one 
else, to have culpably delayed his departure, and, 
when he did undertake to retreat, to have neg- 
lected the most ordinary precautions. If he had 
waited in Moscow a fortnight only, and had left 
on the 1st of October, Smolensk might have 
been reached by the 15th or 16th. Here were 
large supplies. In four or five days more, that 
is on the 20th or 21st of October, Orcha could 
have been reached, where was another d^pot of 
supplies. To reach the Beresina, if he had 
marched that way, was only a matter of three 
or four days, and as early as October 24th or 
25th no Russian army was anywhere near it. 
From the Beresina to Wilna is a march of only 
ten or eleven days ; that is, Wilna might have 
been reached before the 6th of November, which 
was the first very cold day, and at Smorgoni, on 
the road to Wilna, there was another d^pot of 
supplies. Or, if it bad been thought best, the 
army, or a part of it, might have gone to Minsk, 


where were large stores. In fact, had Napoleon 
with his army been at Smolensk on the 14th of 
October instead of on the 14th of November, as 
was the case, he could have disposed of his army 
in Lithuania without difficulty and without seri- 
ous loss, and he would thereby have added 
greatly to his military reputation. 

Napoleon remained in Moscow till the 19th 
of October. He had been there more than a 
month. He had utterly failed to engage the. 
Czar in any negotiation. He had undertaken 
nothing against the Russian army, which had in- 
creased in numbers and improved in organization 
and condition. True, his own army, though 
somewhat reinforced, was not equal to any very 
difficult task. But, unless he was determined to 
destroy Koutousof 's army. Napoleon should have 
commenced his retreat while that army was still 
suffering from the effects of the battle of Boro- 
dino. He had now to encounter all the difficul- 
ties of the march and run tho gauntlet of the 
Russian army into the bargain. 

Nor was this all. While Napoleon was wast- 
ing time at Moscow, the Russian forces which 
were operating on his long line of communi- 
cations were strengthened, and were now dan- 
gerously near cutting that line in two. Witt- 
genstein on the north was fighting St. Cyr at 
Polotsk, and on the very day when Napoleon 
left Moscow, Polotsk was evacuated. Tchitcha- 
goff on the south was eluding Schwartzenberg, 


was fighting Dombrowski, and was drawing near 
to Minsk. Oudinot, with the second corps, and 
Victor with a fresh corps of 30,000 men, were 
vainly endeavoring to make head against these 
powerful Russian armies. 

Whichever way one looked, the situation was 
a gloomy one. 

Various causes, moreover, contributed to lower 
the morale and impair the discipline of the grand 
army. Among these may be mentioned the fact 
that it was composed of such mixed materials. 
The same corps would contain Germans, French, 
and Italians. Anything that renders the men of 
the same military unit strangers to one another, 
impairs their confidence in each other, and weak- 
ens the bonds of discipline. Then the difficulty 
in finding food and forage on the march to 
Moscow had induced pillaging, than which noth- 
ing is more antagonistic to military order. The 
ransacking of the deserted houses and cellars 
of Moscow, and the appropriation of the good 
things found there, of food, drink, and clothing, 
had only made matters worse. Moreover, when 
the army did march, it was accompanied by an 
innumerable crowd of wagons of all sorts, car- 
rying sick and wounded officers and soldiers, 
French residents of Moscow, women, booty, pro- 
visions, encumbering the, roads, delaying the 
march, and distracting the attention of the gen- 

To have checked these disorders, to have en- 


forced rigid discipline, to have seen to it that the 
army was fully equipped for cold weather, and 
that, while its transportation was sufficient, it 
should be encumbered with no additional impe- 
dimentay would certainly not have been an easy 
task, yet it was a task imperatively demanded by 
the exigency in which Napoleon found himself.^ 
It is true that the Guard maintained their usual 
strict discipline and admirable countenance. But 
the rest of the army was in no condition to resist 
an unusual strain. 

Napoleon's plan was to return by way of Ka- 
louga through the southern provinces of Russia. 
Koutousof's army, however, barred the way, and 
after a sanguinary and indecisive action at Malo- 
Jaroslawetz on October 24th, the Emperor deter- 
mined to return the way he had come. This 
affair caused a delay of some days, and even 
before the army could reach Smolensk, the cold 
and snow had come. On November 4th and 
5th there was snow; on the 6th it was very 
cold ; on the 9th it was only 5° above zero, on 
the 13th it was 5° below zero. The losses were 
frightful both in men and horses; and in the 
bodily suffering caused by the severe cold, dis- 
cipline became fatally relaxed. Different por- 
tions of the army also suffered considerably at 
Viazma and other points from the attacks of the 
enemy before reaching Smolensk. 

^ The Emperor, however, did all that man could do to send 
the sick and wounded to the rear. 


Napoleon seems now to have become aroused 
to a sense of his danger and his responsibilities. 
He remained at Smolensk five days, attending to 
the reorganization of the army, to the distribu- 
tion of provisions to the troops, and sending off 
the sick and wounded. But things had become 
very much worse since he had left Moscow. Out 
of the 115,000 men which marched out of the 
Russian capital, not 50,000 were with their regi- 
ments. Nearly 400 cannon had been abandoned. 
There were no frost-nails to insert into the 
horses' shoes, such as the Russians habitually use 
on slippery roads, and it was sometimes almost 
impossible for the artillery and wagons to pro- 
ceed. The sick, wounded, and stragglers accom- 
panying the army numbered some 30,000. 

On the 14th, Napoleon with the Guard left 
Smolensk. The other corps were to follow, first, 
that of the Viceroy, then that of Davout, finally 
that of Ney. Why the Emperor chose to march 
his army in detachments, it is hard to say. No 
good reason that I know of can be given for it. 
In the state in which the troops then were, the 
isolation of a corps was, of itself, a cause of de- 
moralization. Besides, the Russians were pursu- 
ing by parallel roads, and were certain to inter- 
vene between the columns. 

The succeeding fortnight is the critical part 
of the retreat from Russia. As might have been 
expected, the detached corps were attacked se|)- 
arately. The Emperor arrived at Krasnoi on the 


15th, and found himself confronted by a consid- 
erable Russian force. He put a bold face on it, 
however, and maintained his position. In the 
night of the 15th and l6th the Viceroy ar- 
rived. He had been intercepted, and nothing 
but perfect presence of mind and great military 
skill extricated him from his toils. But Eugene 
brought no word of either Davout or Ney. 
There was great cause to fear that they with 
their weak commands were cut off. The Emperor 
however was determined to wait a while longer, 
and see. He disposed his troops with excellent 
judgment, and actually from time to time took 
the offensive. All day of the 16th Napoleon 
and his step-son stoutly held their own against a 
largely superior and steadily increasing force. 
On the 17th Davout arrived. He had waited 
for Ney, but having heard of Eugene's misfor- 
tunes, judged it more important to go forward 
and join the Emperor. He brought no word of 
Ney. It had now become impracticable to wait 
longer at Krasnoi, as the enemy had begun a 
movement which would cut the line of retreat, 
and on the afternoon of the 17th Napoleon with 
his corps, such they were, united, set off for Or- 
cha, where he arrived the next day. 

Napoleon's conduct at Krasnoi deserved and 
has received the highest eulogiums. Had he 
selfishly pursued his course, Eugene and Davout 
could not have escaped being captured. " It 
was," says Sir Robert Wilson, who was serving 


at the time at the Russian headquarters, " a day 
of honor for Napoleon, who had shown " great 
presence of mind, dauntless intrepidity, and con- 
summate practical skill." 

At Orcha Napoleon was rejoined by Ney. 
That indomitable officer^ having found the direct 
road completely occupied by a large force, which 
he made a gallant but unsuccessful attempt to 
dislodge, recrossed on the ice to the north side 
of the Dneiper, and, keeping in the woods, suf- 
fering terrible privations, and losing the greater 
part of his command, succeeded in bringing the 
remnant of his corps safely into the lines on 
the 20th, to the great joy of the Emperor and 
the army/ 

It would seem as if the larger part of the 
losses sustained in these terrible days from the 
14th to, the 20th was attributable to the separa- 
tion of the corps in marching. The weather had 
from the time of leaving Smolensk begun to 
moderate. On the 19th a thaw had commenced. 
The march from Smolensk to Orcha could cer- 
tainly have been made in three or four days ; 
and, supplied as the army had been from the 
stores at Smolensk, and in weather which ought 
not to have been insupportable to men well fed 
and properly clad, it might have reached Orcha 
in good order and condition, had it only been 
kept together. 

Napoleon remained at Orcha two days, or- 
ganizing the army and especially the artillery. 


There were still twenty-four batteries, of six 
pieces each, besides those belonging to the Guard. 
Arms, ammunition, and provisions were served 
out to the men, and the army prepared for a 
fresh wrestle with adverse fortune. Some rein- 
forcements also were received. It was expected 
that at the Beresina, towards which the march 
was directed, the army would be augmented by 
the comparatively fresh troops of Victor and 
Oudinot, and by the division of Dombrowski. 

Napoleon wrote to Oudinot to prepare for 
the crossing, and sent him the able and experi- 
enced engineers Ebl^ and Chasseloup, and also 
the famous General Jomini. These officers pre- 
ceded the march of the army. 

Fortunately for the French, Koutousof had 
conceived the idea that Napoleon was intending 
to cross the Beresina at a point some fifty miles 
south of that which he had in reality selected, 
and the march of the French army towards Bori- 
sow was therefore uninterrupted. But Admiral 
Tchitchagoff was holding the right or western 
bank of the river, and Wittgenstein, who was on 
the eastern side, had it in his power to impede 
any attempt at crossing. 

On arriving at Borisow the wearied and dis- 
couraged troops under Napoleon met the two 
fine corps of Oudinot and Victor. These troops 
having been well fed and cared for, and not hav- 
ing been subjected to the unintermitted march- 
ing and fighting which, together with the severe 


weather^ had so disorganized and demoralized the 
principal column, were in good order and con- 
dition. Oudinot and Victor wer§ men of well- 
known energy and courage. There were now 
about 40,000 fighting men in the army, under 
the colors. There were actually some 260 guns, 
"tolerably well horsed," as Sir Robert Wilson 
tells us. The great difi&culty came from the 
enormous mass of stragglers, and from the wag- 
ons and carts containing the sick and wounded. 
Probably these followers of the army were as 
numerous as the army itself. 

Napoleon on his arrival approved at once of 
the position at Studianka which Oudinot and the 
engineer officers had selected for the crossing. 
Through gross recklessness the pontoon trains 
had been destroyed at Orcha, and it was neces- 
sary to build bridges. Had the pontoons been 
on hand the army could have crossed in one day 
without the least trouble. As it was, all day of 
the 26th was occupied in building the bridges. 
Napoleon was there on the spot, from which he 
never moved till the work was done. During 
this time a feint of crossing was made at Bori- 
sow, and the Admiral was deluded into remain- 
ing in that neighborhood. The troops of Oudi- 
not crossed in the afternoon over the first bridge. 
The second bridge, which was built specially for 
the transit of the artillery and wagons, was fin- 
ished at dark. The artillery of Oudinot's corps 
and of the Guard then passed over. In the after- 


noon of the 27th, Napoleon with the Guard 
crossed, as did also a multitude of the stragglers. 
Up to this time there had been no serious fight- 
ing. Late the same afternoon, however, one of 
Victor's divisions, that of Partonneaux, in march- 
ing from Borisow to Studianka, was surrounded 
and obliged to capitulate. During that night 
all the other troops crossed the river, save Ge- 
rard's division of Victor's corps. 

From a purely military point of view the op- 
eration was now finished. To withdraw the re- 
maining division as speedily as possible was ob- 
viously the prudent thing to do. But there yet 
remained the greater part of the army-followers, 
a great many carriages, containing sick and 
wounded, officers' wives and children, disbanded 
troops, stragglers of all sorts. Most of these had 
become so torpid from the effect of continued 
privation and suffering that they made no effort 
to avail themselves of the facilities which the 
bridges had hitherto offered them. Napoleon 
was willing to delay one day more to give them 
another chance. This decision, unquestionably 
dictated by motives of humanity, cannot, how- 
ever, be defended. Napoleon hated the thought 
of abandoning these poor people ; yet the safety 
of the army imperatively demanded that he 
should march at once. The care of the army, 
with whose existence was bound up so much that 
was of vital importance to the Empire, was the 
paramount duty. 


Nevertheless, as I have said, he gave these 
poor wretches another day. But to do this, it 
was necessary for him to fight the Admiral, now 
awake to the fact that he had been outwitted, on 
the western bank, and to recross another of Vic- 
tor's divisions to the eastern bank to assist Ge- 
rard in fighting Wittgenstein. On both sides of 
the Beresina, all through this terrible day of the 
28th of November, the French held their own, 
though with severe loss. It was not until nine 
in the evening that Victor crossed to the west- 
ern side with his two divisions. From time to 
time during the day, the apparently inert mass 
of humanity concealed in a multitude of wag- 
ons, or standing round fires made of debris of 
all sorts, had been fired into by the Russian 
guns, and then and only then was there a rush 
for the bridges. Such was the confusion among 
those that made the attempt, that the bridges 
were often blocked, and the next morning, the 
29th, a vast crowd still remained on the eastern 

The Emperor could wait no longer. His losses 
in the battle of the preceding day had been very 
severe. Several generals had been wounded, 
and among them Oudinot ; Victor's corps, which 
had covered itself with glory, had suffered se- 
verely. The necessity for continuing the retreat 
was imperative. Ebl^ was ordered to burn the 
bridges at eight o'clock of the 29th. When the 
smoke began to ascend, the miserable creatures 


on the eastern side realized that they had lost 
their last chance. Of course, they all fell ii^to 
the hands of the enemy. 

Such was the terrible passage of the Beresina, 
in which one cannot fail to mark the great abil- 
ity and courage displayed throughout the whole 
affair by Napoleon. His ^energy, coolness, pres- 
ence of mind, the skill with which he deceived 
his foes, ensured for the operation an almost 
complete success. The distressing circumstances, 
the sanguinary affairs of the 28th, the sufferings 
of the multitude who were left, are not to be 
attributed to any miUtary fault, but to the un- 
wise, almost culpable, compassion which led him 
to risk the lives of his brave soldiers and to im- 
peril gravely the fortunes of the army, to afford 
another day of opportunity to the miserable peo- 
ple whom, as he should have known, nothing 
could rouse from the torpor and apathy produced 
partly by suffering and partly by having cast off 
the bonds of discipline. Had the bridges been 
burnt on the morning of the 28th, many valu- 
able lives would have been saved, and the dis- 
organization always consequent on a battle, and 
which is especially productive of harm when a 
bloody battle is followed by a hasty retreat, as 
in this case, would have been entirely avoided. 

From the banks of the Beresina the army made 
its way as rapidly as possible to Wilna. Even if 
there had been food enough for the men and 
forage enough for the horses, it would have been 


a very severe experience, for the weather now 
became and continued extremely cold, the ther- 
mometer ranging from 29° to 35° below zero. 
But there was not anything like sufficient forage 
and food, and the losses were frightful. In ad- 
dition to other suflEerings, the Russians from time 
to time caught up with the rear guard, and often 
inflicted severe loss. Still, there was nothing to 
prevent the debris of the army from reaching 
Wilna, where were abundant stores of all sorts, 
a friendly population, and a French garrison. 

This being so. Napoleon deemed it unneces- 
sary to remain longer with the army. He had 
made up his mind that unless he appeared on the 
Vistula the next spring, a new and formidable 
coalition against him was certain to be formed, 
and that to maintain the Empire as it was, it 
would be necessary to take the field in great 
force. In this belief he was doubtless correct. 
He saw, too, that there was no time to be lost. 
The sooner he was in Paris the better. 

Accordingly he set out on the 5th of Decem- 
ber, accompanied by Caulaincourt, Duroc, and 
Lobau, and one or two other officers. He ran 
great risk of being captured by Cossacks, but 
arrived safely at Wilna, and thence proceeded to 
Paris. Of this decision, which some writers have 
harshly criticised, it is sufficient to say, in the 
words of Sir Robert Wilson, that " the motives " 
of it " were too apparently reasonable and pros- 
pectively beneficial not to satisfy every one, after 


a short time, that it was not a flight for personal 
safety, but a measure of paramount necessity for 
the common welfare." 

On the 9th of December, the wreck of the 
grand army arrived at Wilna. Such, however, 
was the disorganization that prevailed, that it 
was deemed best by Murat, to whom Napoleon 
had confided the command of the army, to evac- 
uate it at once. The weary soldiers were soon on 
the march again for Kowno, where, less than six 
months before, hundreds of thousands of brave 
troops had crossed the Niemen. But even Kowno 
could not be held, and the few troops that sur- 
vived retired without delay into Prussia. 

Thus ended the Russian campaign, the most 
terrible of which we have any knowledge. From 
all the accounts, I gather that somewhere about 
530,000 men took part in the campaign under 
Napoleon.^ Of these, the Russians estimate that 
125,000 were either killed in battle or died of 
wounds ; that 132,000 died of privation and dis- 
ease ; that 193,000 were taken prisoners ; that 
only 80,000 returned. 

I think this estimate erroneous in more than 
one point. The 80,000 who are put down as 
returned, returned in December. Yet, without 
question, a great many of the sick and wounded 
must have been sent back long before that time. 
These would serve to diminish the number of 

1 See Appendix VI. 


those who are set down as having perished by 
privation and disease. 

Besides, there were more than 80,000 that re- 
turned in December. The greater number of 
those that returned consisted of the Austrian 
contingent under Schwartzenberg, the seventh 
corps under Reynier, which accompanied it, and 
the Prussian contingent under Macdonald ; these 
troops numbered nearly 70,000 men. And 
35,000 to 40,000 men of the main army re- 
crossed the Niemen. Of these, it is true, a large 
part had not shared in the campaign ; they were 
portions of the garrisons of towns on the line 
of march. Many of them in fact had recently 
entered Russia from Germany. The total of 
those that returned, however, cannot be far 
from 110,000 men. 

That a very large part of the loss arose from 
preventable causes is certain. The Due de Fe- 
zensac, who commanded the 4th regiment of the 
line, tells us in his most interesting narrative 
what became of the officers and men of his regi- 
ment. Of 3,000 enlisted men, only 200 returned 
with him in December. But of some 96 officers 
who set out from Moscow, 49 returned in De- 
cember. This shows a loss which, though cer- 
tainly severe, is by no means unparalleled in war. 
Many 'regiments suifered much more in officers 
in Grant's campaign from the Rapidan to Peters- 
burg. Had the men been as provident as their 
officers, they would no doubt have fared as well 


This was one of those cases where superior in- 
telligence goes for something. We may also 
be certain that had it been possible to preserve 
strict discipline, the men could not have suflEered 
in the proportion they did. But this seems to 
have been found impracticable. 

Sir Robert Wilson tells us that, after pass- 
ing the Beresina, the Russians suffered nearly 
as much as the French from want of food, fuel, 
and clothing, and of course quite as much from 
cold, and that the various Russian commands 
lost about 90,000 men from these causes. Nev- 
ertheless the Russian army perfectly preserved 
its organization and discipline; it only needed 
reinforcements. Whereas the allied army, with 
the exception of the Prussian and Austrian con- 
tingents, and such French troops as served with 
them, — which had not really made the cam- 
paign, — was practically dissolved. 

Murat, ably seconded by Eug&ne, Ney, Da- 
vout and a host of gallant officers, made every 
effort to collect the men under the colors and to 
present a bold front to the enemy. And had 
the Prussian contingent stood by their allies in 
this emergency, their efforts would have measur- 
ably succeeded. But the disasters of the French 
aroused in the Prussians a fierce hope that they 
might now shake off the burden alike of French 
alliance and of French superiority. General 
Yorck, who commanded a Prussian division in 
Macdonald's army, arranged with the opposing 


Russian commanders to allow them to get upon 
his line of retreat, so as to give him a technical 
reason for entering into a capitulation. On the 
30th of December, this officer signed a conven- 
tion, in which he included the other Prussian 
division, that of Massenbach, which was at the 
time actually serving with Macdonald's column, 
by the terms of which the Prussian forces were 
to remain in a sort of neutral territory. This 
desertion of his military comrades in a moment 
of supreme danger, cannot be viewed by honor- 
able men as other than an act of duplicity and 
perfidy. Many writers have excused it, some 
have even praised it. To their minds the griev- 
ances of Prussia against Napoleon were so intol- 
erable, that any course of conduct, no matter 
how opposed to the ordinary rules of good faith 
and honest dealing, is justified on the score of 
patriotism. I do not so regard the matter. It 
may sometimes be the duty of a nation, as it 
certainly is sometimes the duty of an individual, 
to put up with evils from which there is no hon- 
orable and righteous way of escape. It might 
well have been repugnant to General Yorck's 
feelings to serve in Marshal Macdonald's army. 
If so, then he should have resigned. In a cer- 
tain crisis in this country, many officers of the 
United States army found themselves unable, on 
account of their political views, to continue in 
service, and, as soon as they had an honorable 
opportunity, they resigned. But with a single 


exception, that of the infamous General Twiggs, 
they did not surrender the forts or the troops in 
their charge, even to their own States, In sev- 
eral cases, notably in the case of an officer who 
was at Fort Sumter, such officers fought against 
the cause to which they were personally attached, 
because they could not honorably desert the flag 
under which they were serving in presence of 
the enemy. They in fact subordinated politics 
to the inflexible requirements of duty. When 
they had turned over the property in their hands 
and the troops in their charge to the United 
States authorities, they resigned, but not until 
then. With the exception above mentioned, 
there were no deceptions or disgraceful contriv- 
ances of any kind. But Torek's surrender was 
a deliberate compact with the enemy. When he 
wrote to Macdonald that he " had no alternative 
but either to sacrifice the greater part of his 
troops or to save the whole by making a conven- 
tion," he told Macdonald a deliberate falsehood. 
When he wrote to the King of Prussia that his 
position was desperate, that he should have sac- 
rificed the whole corps had he tried to escape 
from the Russians, etc., he was lying to his own 
sovereign. Had the facts been as he stated them 
to the king, his defence was an easy one, and 
one which depended entirely on military reasons. 
But he discloses the real truth when in the same 
letter he harps upon his having acted as "a 
true Prussian," as " a patriot who only sought 


the welfare of his country." This conclusively 
shows the falseness of his pretence about his ex- 
treme danger being the justification of his con- 
duct. It is well to call a spade, a spade ; there 
can be no question that General Yorck in these 
letters lied to Marshal Macdonald and to the 
king. Love of country is doubtless a great 
virtue, but it cannot excuse such flagrant dis- 
regard of military honor and of common veracity 
as Yorck displayed on this occasion. 

The conduct of the Austrian contingent under 
Prince Schwartzenberg, though not open to the 
charge of doubledealing, was characterized by 
an anxiety to avoid above all things an engage- 
ment with the advancing Russians. It was per- 
haps to be expected that the Austrians should 
be unwilling to see the stress of a doubtful 
struggle fall upon their own troops, especially 
when they were simply serving as allies to the 
French. Schwartzenberg retired into Galicia, 
leaving Warsaw to its fate. 

Thus the wreck of the grand army, aban- 
doned by its allies, was unable to withstand the 
invaders; Warsaw was evacuated early in Feb- 
ruary, and the much coveted Grand Duchy was 
occupied by Russian troops. 

But the Czar was not satisfied with this trium- 
phant ending to the invasion of Russia. He 
aspired to accomplish, as he termed it, " the de- 
liverance of Europe." By his orders Koutousof 
issued a proclamation promising the aid of Rus- 


sia to all peoples who desired her help. He 
counted specially on the patriotic party in Prus- 
sia compelling the king, who still faithfully ad- 
hered to the French alliance, to shake it off, and 
to join heart and soul with Russia in an attack 
on the Empire of Napoleon. The action of 
Yorck had given a tremendous impulse to this 
party throughout Prussia, and it was easy to see 
that that proud-spirited people would ere long 
embrace the opportunity offered them to avenge 
J^na and Auerstadt, and to restore to Berlin its 
former dominating influence in northern Ger- 
many. Prussia had indeed suffered grievously 
since her overthrow. She had been obliged to 
maintain an army of occupation. She had paid 
a heavy war indemnity. Her territory had been 
from time to time, and especially during the late 
war with Russia, marched over by the troops of 
the grand army. Then her army had been re- 
stricted to 40,000 men, a restriction especially 
galling to her martial spirit. She craved revenge. 
With Austria the case was different. She had 
lost territory, to be sure, and some of it was ter- 
ritory she could ill spare, such as her provinces on 
the Adriatic. But she had never been subjected 
to that most irritating of all the consequences of 
an unsuccessful war, the presence of the con- 
quering troops after peace has been declared. 
Besides, she was now, since the marriage of 
Maria Louisa, the ally of France. Nevertheless, 
there was quite reason enough to hope that Aus- 


tria would make use of this new chance to re- 
cover her lost provinces, or some of them, and 
to resume, if she could, her predominance in the 
states of southern Germany. 

Besides these considerations, which were plain- 
ly acting on Prussia and Austria, were others 
to which I have often alluded before. There 
was the cause of the dispossessed princes and 
potentates of western Germany, who hoped to 
see their vassals restored to them in the destruc- 
tion of the recent Kingdom of Westphalia and 
the reduction of Bavaria and Wiirtemberg to 
their ancient limits. There were even men who 
cherished a fanatical belief that they would yet 
live to see all the work of the French Revolu- 
tion destroyed, all its sins against legitimacy 
and political order expiated and avenged ; who 
looked confidently to God to prosper what they 
fully believed was the cause of religion and 
order ; whose devout aspiration it was that they 
might live to behold the Bourbons again on the 
thrones of France, Spain, and Naples, the Aus- 
trians again ruling in Italy, while the emigrant 
nobility of France and western Germany, now 
returned to their own country, should again be 
holding their petty courts and living on their 
ancestral acres on the tolls and taxes which they 
had an immemorial right to exact of their less 
privileged neighbors. 

To this bundle of aims and hopes and beliefs 
the ancient courts and aristocracies gave the 


general name of the cause of the deliverance of 
Europe from the yoke of Napoleon. Never has 
there heen exhibited to more advantage the 
power that resides in a name. Let it be granted 
that it would be in some respects for the advan- 
tage of Europe if Prussia and Austria should re- 
cover a part, at any rate, of what they had lost 
by the fortune of war. But that the cause of 
good government or the welfare of the popula- 
tions would be advanced by bringing back the 
old order of things in France, western Germany, 
or Italy, no intelligent man ought to have be- 
lieved for a moment. 

It is true that the continent was suffering from 
the evils of war. For the evils of war, however, 
the remedy is peace ; and peace could have been 
had at any time if only the ancient monarchies 
and aristocracies of Europe had been willing to 
accept the reorganization of western Europe un- 
der the new system of equal rights and govern- 
ment for the people which had taken place in 
consequence of the French Revolution. But the 
change was so sudden and so violent, and in- 
volved such a loss to them of power and prestige, 
that they could not and would not accept it. 
Perhaps it would be asking too much of poor 
human nature to expect that they should have 
resigned themselves both to the predominance of 
France and to the triumph over so large a part 
of Europe of the fundamental social and political 
changes embodied in the Code Napoleon. It 


could hardly be hoped that they would recognize 
the real truth which underlay and explained the 
unwelcome facts which made the Europe of 1813 
such a different country from the Europe of 
1783, namely, that western Europe, with the 
exception of the Spanish peninsula, had during 
these thirty years passed through a great and 
most wholesome transition as well in the ends 
and aims of government as in the social and po- 
litical status of the people. Still less could the 
reactionary party be expected to recognize the 
fact that the preponderance of France was by no 
means a permanent concomitant of the great 
transformation which western Europe had un- 
dergone, although it was during the epoch of 
transition a necessary element of that transfor- 
mation. In the minds of the leaders of the al- 
lied cause in 1813, the war was a sort of holy 
crusade for legitimacy and privilege against the 
all-devouring ambition of an aggressive usurper. 
On the other side. Napoleon, undismayed by 
his reverses in Russia, wad raising a new army 
with which he expected in the spring to over- 
awe Prussia, and to drive the Russians back over 
the Niemen. He felt, and no doubt rightly, that 
unless a vigorous stand was taken, the tide of 
reaction might sweep over the Empire. France, 
though grievously suffering from the frightful 
losses of the Russian campaign, came bravely 
forward to meet the emergency. Hardly less 
energetic were the efforts put forth by the states 


of the Confederation of the Rhine^ and by Italy, 
The Emperor himself worked day and night. 

Meantime Prussia was putting her army on 
a war footing, her ministers all the while assuring 
the French ambassador at Berlin, with a dupli- 
city well nigh unparalleled, that their prepara- 
tions were made only in order that she might 
make a suitable appearance in the coming cam- 
paign on the side of France. For a month after 
a treaty of alliance with Russia, offensive and 
defensive, had been signed, Prussia continued 
warmly to protest her adhesion to the cause of 
Napoleon. But her warlike preparations, as well 
as a thousand other indications of popular feel- 
ing, showed clearly enough that she had made 
up her mind to fight a desperate struggle with 
France. The army and the nobiUty hated France 
and Napoleon with an implacable enmity, bom 
not less of wounded pride than of actual and 
tangible grievances. 

Great efforts were made to give to the reac- 
tionary movement a liberal and popular charac- 
ter. Proclamations were issued by Russian and 
Prussian generals promising liberty and equality 
to the people, and in the heat and excitement of 
the war fever, and in the midst of the patriotic 
fury that prevailed, few people had the sense to 
see the patent and absurd deception involved in 
raising and cherishing expectations of this nature 
from such sources. 

Even this was not sufficient. The new cru- 


sade in favor of liberty and equality carried on 
by the autocrat of all the Russias must take on 
a pan-Germanic coloring also, to make it, if pos- 
sible, attractive to those German communities 
which were living under the Code Napoleon, and 
could not be supposed to be specially anxious 
for the bestowal of that particular variety of 
liberty and equality dispensed by the Czar. Ac- 
cordingly, Koutousof proclaims the dissolution 
of the Confederation of the Rhine. Wittgen- 
stein refuses to recognize as a German any man 
who prefers to remain quiet in this emergency. 
Blucher urges the Saxons to raise the standard 
of insurrection against foreign usurpation. But 
appeals of this sort were evidently not much 
relied on. The generals in the service of Rus- 
sia had a much shorter mode of convincing 
their opponents. Wittgenstein says: "You 
must choose between my fraternal affection and 
my sword." And Koutousof demands of the 
princes of the confederation "faithful and en- 
tire cooperation," and menaces with destruction 
those among them who are traitors to the cause 
of the German fatherland. 

I have admitted that Prussia had serious and 
tangible grievances, which, taken in connection 
with the hatred and desire for revenge caused by 
her complete overthrow in 1806, may account 
for the state of feeling among her people. Still 
it is clear enough that these motives needed to 
be supplemented. Else why these wild appeals 


to the people, these delusive promises of liberty, 
this talk about the German fatherland ? All this 
sort of thing was done simply for eflPect, as the 
event abundantly proved. None of the promises 
were ever kept. 

And what shall we say about the threats ut- 
tered so freely against the German communities 
which adhered to the Empire ? What was this 
terrible foreign yoke which they were to throw 
o£E, in order to join the Czar and the King in 
their crusade for popular liberty ? Let me read 
a few words from a recent English work written 
by a man who is wholly in sympathy with this 
crusade, and who cannot therefore be charged 
with misrepresenting facts against the cause 
which he favors : — 

" All Italy, the northern districts of Germany which 
were incorporated with the Empire, and a great part 
of the Confederate Territory of the Rhine, received in 
the Code Napoleon a law which, to an extent hitherto 
unknown in Europe, brought social justice into the 
daily affairs of life. The privileges of the noble, the 
feudal burdens of the peasant, the monopolies of the 
guilds, passed away, in most instances forever. The 
comfort and improvement of mankind were vindicated 
as the true aim of property by the abolition of the de- 
vices which convert the soil into an instrument of fam- 
ily pride, and by the enforcement of a fair division 
of inheritances among the children of the possessor. 
Legal process, both civil and criminal, was brought 
within the comprehension of ordinary citizens, and 
subjected to the test of publicity." " Even the misused 


peasantry of Poland had been freed from their de- 
grading yoke within the borders of the newly founded 
Grand Duchy of Warsaw." 

Still, while all this was true, it was unfortu- 
nately no less true that the burden of war 
pressed heavily upon the shoulders of the people. 
Napoleon's obstinate persistence in trying to ac- 
complish the subjugation of Spain was costing 
every year thousands of valuable lives, sacrificed 
in a contest in which no one had any interest. 
The course he pursued in regard to Spain was in 
direct contravention of his true role in European 
politics. When the unwillingness of the people 
to receive Joseph and the liberal institutions 
which he brought with him was definitely ascer- 
tained, there should have been an end of the 
whole matter. Moreover, if Napoleon was to 
prosecute the war at all, he certainly should not 
havo delegated such a difficult task to his lieu- 
tenants. Had he in 1810 or 1811 gone to Spain 
himself, he would have probably driven out the 
English and subdued the country. As it was, 
the jealousies and limited powers of the king 
and the marshals gave Wellington opportunities 
of which he never failed to make good use. He 
was a better general than any of the marshals 
sent against him, Mass6na possibly excepted, 
and he played his cards admirably. Talavera, 
Busaco, Torres . Vedras, Salamanca, Vittoria, 
illustrate his varied military talents. 

Besides the annual drain of men necessitated 


by the Spanish war, there had now come upon 
the populations of the Empire the terrible catas- 
i;rophe of the Russian campaign. Such calami- 
ties do a great deal to dispose people to listen to 
appeals for a change of government. 

Then, all the while, was the unintermitted 
hostility of England, showing its deplorable ef- 
fects no less in the distress produced by the con- 
tinental system than by the encouragement and 
assistance which she afforded to the allied pow- 
ers of the continent, without which they could 
not have continued the struggle. The entire 
cessation of foreign trade for so long a period 
was getting to be felt as a grievance well-nigh 
intolerable. Maintaining this policy after expe- 
rience had abundantly shown that the English 
aristocracy had the power and the determination 
to carry on the war, in face of the disastrous 
effects which the continental system had on the 
commercial and manufacturing interests of the 
English people, was another of Napoleon's mis- 
takes. Had Napoleon in 1813 retired from the 
contest in Spain, he could have availed himself, 
for the campaign about to open in Germany, of 
a very large army of veteran troops, and could 
have spared France and her dependencies the 
great sacrifices which he demanded and which 
they so generously made. Had he, before call- 
ing upon the Empire to put forth its strength 
again in another war, repealed the continental 
blockade, frankly announcing its failure as a 


wax measure, he would have done much to rec- 
oncile the people to the really necessary step of 
a new campaign in Germany. He would thus 
have shown to France and Holland, Italy and 
western Germany, with the clearness and point 
which the crisis demanded, the real nature of the 
impending contest. Stripped of the two most 
unfortunate accessories of the Spanish war and 
the continental system, the question was, whether 
the old regime should be restored throughout 
western Europe under the lead of the Russian 
autocrat and the Prussian king. Had this sin- 
gle issue been clearly offered, and had Napo- 
leon, recognizing the gravity of the situation, 
devoted himself to the task thus presented, and 
only to that, the Empire would easily have 
maintained itself against the coalition. 

The new grand army, organized to take the 
place of the one that had perished in Russia, 
numbered some 270,000 men. It was no doubt 
organized as well as an army can be organized 
in three months, but that is not saying much. 
The skeletons of the regiments were indeed com- 
posed of old soldiers. When, as frequently hap- 
pened, the survivors of the Russian campaign 
did not nxmiber enough for this purpose, veter- 
ans from regiments serving in Spain or elsewhere 
were imported. The list of officers and non-com- 
missioned officers being thus filled, with, in most 
cases, a certain number of private soldiers drawn 
from the regimental depots at home, the con- 


scription furnished the rest of the rank and file. 
The army was to be ready by the middle of 
April, and it is easy to see that the mass of the 
private soldiers must have had very insufficient 
instruction. Napoleon himself specially pre- 
scribed the tactics which were to be taught to 
the recruits. Besides the manual of arms, a few 
simple manceuvres, such as forming square to re- 
sist cavalry and the like, were to occupy all their 
attention in the few weeks allotted for drill. 
The Guard was reconstituted entirely from vet- 
eran soldiers, largely taken from regiments which 
had not served in Russia, but it numbered less 
than 20,000 men. An extraordinary amount of 
artillery accompanied the army. Napoleon recog- 
nizing the fact that the presence of a battery is 
a great moral support to raw infantry. Cavalry 
was lacking; but some good troops were brought 
from Spain. 

During the winter and early spring the French 
forces under the Viceroy had retired before the 
enemy from step to step, until in April, 1813, 
they were on the banks of the Elbe. Saxony 
had been evacuated, and the allies were endeav- 
oring to secure its adhesion in the crusade 
against Napoleon. The attitude of Austria was 

Suddenly, in the last days of April, the Em- 
peror appeared at the head of the new army, and 
marched at once on Leipsic. With an audacity 
which disclosed a very different temper from 



that which prevailed in the Prussian army seven 
years before, the allies attacked Napoleon on 
the 2d of May, on the great plain between 
Lutzen and Leipsic. But after a sanguinary 
contest they were compelled to retire, and Napo- 
leon in a few days entered Dresden. Following 
up his advantage, the Emperor came up with the 
allied forces at Bautzen near the Austrian fron- 
tier. Here the enemy had taken a strong posi- 
tion. Napoleon now had his troops all in hand. 
On the 21st of May he attacked the aUies in 
front, and sent Ney with a large corps to turn 
their right flank. The operation was on the 
whole successful. Owing, however, to the neces- 
sarily isolated character of the movement pre- 
scribed to Ney, and probably also to the fact 
that he felt that he could not count with cer- 
tainty upon his inexperienced troops, that officer 
did not dare to avail himself fully of his oppor- 
tunity, and the results of the battle were by no 
means what they might have been. 

Thus far, however. Napoleon had accomplished 
quite as much as he could reasonably have ex- 
pected. The allied invasion of the Empire had 
been checked ; the Russian and Prussian armies 
had been defeated and driven back. Napoleon 
had a large superiority of force. It was plain 
that if Austria remained neutral, the new coali- 
tion was doomed. 

But Austria recognized to the full the ad' 
vantage she possessed. Napoleon was at that 


time in no condition to fight all the three powers 
together. His army was too small and too 
poorly disciplined for any such task as that. 
Hence the Austrian cabinet felt that they could 
exact a price for the neutrality of Austria. It 
was not an exorbitant price ; it was, substan- 
tially, the restoration of what had been taken 
from Austria in Poland, Illyria, and Germany as 
a consequence of her disastrous campaign of 
1809. But to Napoleon these demands seemed 
most unwarranted. The treaty of Vienna had 
not been broken. France had given Austria no 
ground of offence. Metternich did not pretend 
there was any casus belli. He simply said : 
" We are strong, stronger than you suppose ; we 
want these provinces back ; if you do not give 
them up we shall join your enemies, and we shall 
be too many for you." Such language was in- 
tolerable to Napoleon. He regarded it as an out 
and out threat, — that it assumed that he, Napo- 
leon, could be intimidated into resigning terri- 
tory which had become his by valid treaties. 
To his mind the attitude of Russia and Prussia 
was far more intelligible. He recognized that 
they had good grounds for hostility. He could 
understand and appreciate their position. Rus- 
sia had her invasion to avenge. Prussia since 
J^na had never been treated as an equal ; she 
naturally desired to recover her position as a 
great power. But that Austria, with whom he 
had so recently been connected by a marriage 


alliance^ should take advantage of his misfor- 
tunes, and, without any allegation even of a 
breach of good faith on his part, should exact a 
price for not joining in the crusade against him, 
this was to him irritating to the last degree. It 
was a repetition of Austria's conduct in 1809, 
when, without the least excuse, she attacked him 
simply because he was embarrassed in Spain. 

Mortifying, however, as it might have been 
for Napoleon to yield to such demands as these, 
it was clearly for the interest of his Empire to 
make these concessions. After all, it was natural 
that Austrian statesmen should embrace the 
first opportunity of recovering the seaports on 
the Adriatic. Here, in all probability, lay the 
stress of the Austrian demands. Had Napoleon 
yielded the Illyrian provinces, he could without 
much doubt have arranged everything else. 
Then, Austria's neutrality secured, the defeat of 
the Russian and Prussian coalition was morally 
certain. Russia had by no means recovered so 
fully as France had from the losses of the pre- 
ceding year. Prussia's new organization had so 
far yielded but a moderate army. The chances 
were two to one that by the 1st of September 
Napoleon could occupy Berlin, relieve Dantzic, 
and reenter Warsaw. 

Instead of taking this course, so manifestly 
demanded by ordinary prudence as well as by a 
sense of public duty, he allowed his indignation 
at the attitude of Austria to direct his policy. 


He accepted, indeed, the offer of mediation which 
Austria made, and agreed to the armistice which 
she proposed. In fact, he did not feel himself 
strong enough in May to withstand a coalition of 
the three great powers. But he continued his 
preparations for war, in the hope that Austria, 
when later in the season she came to see the 
magnitude of his armaments, would recede from 
her selfish attitude, and keep the peace without 
being paid for it. He also calculated that, if 
she should act the contrary part, he would, by 
the time the armistice terminated, have a force 
adequate to all emergencies. 

Hence, instead of bujring off Austria by mak- 
ing the moderate concessions which she de- 
manded as the price of her neutrality, and finish- 
ing the contest as speedily as possible with the 
enfeebled and discouraged forces of the Czar 
and the King, he chose to tempt fortune by en- 
gaging in an unequal contest against the three 
nations combined. Of the certain losses and 
miseries of such a gigantic struggle, he appar- 
ently took no heed. Of defeat, and of the dis- 
astrous consequences of defeat to the popula- 
tions who had, under his guidance, begun a new 
career in political and social life, he took his 
chance. To his mind, it is true, there was small 
probability of his being beaten ; and with Aus- 
terlitz, J^na, and Friedland A,o look back upon, 
who can wonder at his feeling? Yet it is al- 
most incomprehensible that he should have left 


out of the account, as he certainly did, all the 
considerations which made a speedy termination 
of the war most desirable, — the exhaustion of 
France and her allies, the discontent arising from 
the constant conscriptions, the suffering caused 
by the blockade, the miseries caused by such 
tremendous wars, and above all the dispropor- 
tionate importance to the French Empire of re- 
taining the Illyrian provinces compared with hav- 
ing Austria added to the coalition. Nothing but 
an inordinate reliance on the use of force, a pro- 
fessional soldier's forgetfulness of the blessings 
of peace, a gambler's willingness to risk every- 
thing on the issue of a battle, and a wholly in- 
adequate appreciation of the importance of the 
preservation of the Empire, and of the conse- 
quent duty of preventing any dangerous com- 
bination against its integrity, can account for 
Napoleon's course at this juncture. 

When the armistice terminated in the middle 
of August, Austria had joined the coalition. 
Napoleon had indeed largely increased his army. 
He had also been able to improve somewhat the 
drill and discipKne of his troops. But the army 
was a poor one. The men were too young and 
too green. There were a great many inexperi- 
enced officers. Nevertheless Napoleon, as usual, 
despised his enemies. His own mind was as 
fertile as ever in plans, and he looked for great 

You all know how fatally his expectations 


were disappointed. I have not time to tell how 
the brilliant success at Dresden which followed 
close on the termination of the armistice^ was 
succeeded by the four crushing defeats of Van- 
damme, Oudinot, Macdonald, and Ney, and how 
the remainder of the army, under Napoleon him- 
self, sadly diminished in strength and confidence, 
and largely outnumbered by its foes, was de- 
feated and discomfited in the great battle of 
Leipsic, and driven across the Rhine. 

But perhaps you do not all of you know that 
Napoleon was so insanely confident of success 
that he had at the time of the battle of Leipsic 
nearly 200,000 men in the various fortresses and 
fortified towns of Germany, the larger part of 
whom could, had he so 'ordered, have been fight- 
ing under his eye in that tremendous struggle. 
Had they been there, the result might very pos- 
sibly have been different. It is true that if Na- 
poleon's plans of campaign had turned out well, 
these garrisons would have secured for him all 
the strategic points in northern Germany. But 
to deprive himself of the services of such a mass 
of troops when the fate of his Empire was 
trembling in the balance, only that success, if he 
won it, might be more decisive, is such reckless 
and insensate conduct that it is impossible to 
speak of it with moderation. When he crossed 
the Rhine also, he left large garrisons in the 
important places, so that when he returned in 
the spring he might find them ready to his hand. 


This is the conduct of a gambler. The crisis 
was indeed a grave one ; it needed that all the 
available resources of the Empire should be con- 
centrated. Yet Napoleon scattered them. In 
Spain and northern Germany were armies that 
would have amply sufficed to guard the Rhine 
frontier from invasion. But to Napoleon's mind 
such extreme measures were uncalled for. It 
was impossible, he felt, that he should not suc- 
ceed, in the end, in beating Schwartzenberg and 
Blucher, and then, of what immense advantage 
would be the possession of Hamburg and Dres- 
den and Magdeburg and Dantzic ! 

Nothing can show more clearly than this how 
thoroughly he regarded the whole thing as a 
game; a game of war, lo be sure, but still a 
game ; and how completely he lost the character 
of monarch, of the defender of the integrity of 
the states composing the Empire, in that of a 
mere general of an army, and a most recklessly 
imprudent general too. The manifest want of 
serious appreciation of his real position during 
the years 1813 and 1814 seems to indicate in 
Napoleon a deplorable and radical defect in mind 
and character. It does not seem to me to show 
what we call moral perversity, so much as an 
inability to grasp the essential conditions of the 
problem, which in any ordinary man of the world 
we should be surprised to find, combined with a 
total deficiency in that sobriety and seriousness 
with which a man of strong character deals with 


great emergencies. He seems to have been inca- 
pable of listening to the dictates of prudence, of 
common sense. Still less did he appreciate that 
a ruler is, in a true and real sense, a trustee for 
his people; and that risks, which, to an individ- 
ual or to a soldier of fortune, are permissible 
enough, are wholly out of place when they put 
at hazard the destinies of states. 

The rest of our story is soon told. Napo- 
leon's part in it is characterized throughout by 
an obstinate and reckless reliance on military 
success as the only means of escape from the 
diflficulties which environed him. Peace, and an 
honorable peace, he might have had when he 
wanted it. In fact, the Emperor Francis was far 
from being desirous to ruin him ; he was satisfied 
with having regained for his country her ancient 
predominance in southern Germany and Italy. 
Alexander would have willingly retired on his 
laurels. It was only in the Prussian camp that 
the desire to piish the war to the bitter end was 
manifested. Thus, after Leipsic, Napoleon was 
offered peace on terms which would have left 
France bounded by the Rhine, Belgium being 
included in the French frontier. These terms 
he had the incredible folly to reject. He was 
counting on the three or four months of winter 
in which to bring out a new army. But the 
allies did not give him the time he needed. In 
January of 1814 their armies crossed the Rhine. 

Not much, of course, had been accomplished 


at this date by Napoleon towards a reorganiza- 
tion of his shattered forces. What little could 
be done after such terrible disasters and mistakes, 
was certainly done, but meantime French terri- 
tory was being occupied. Not only were Alsace 
and Lorraine invaded, but on the southern fron- 
tier also. Lord Wellington had crossed the Pyr- 

Of the resolute, daring, brilliant fight that 
Napoleon made in the winter and early spring 
of 1814, — of Prienne, Champ Aubert, Montmi- 
rail, Montereau, — I have not the time to speak. 
Nor would it be possible for us to follow the 
complicated movements of this remarkable cam- 
paign in a lecture. Admire, however, as much 
as we may, the indomitable spirit of the man, 
his unfaltering nerve, his clear judgment, his 
untiring activity, his great skill, his daring cour- 
age, we cannot but recognize that during this 
whole period he was playing the part of a mere 
military man, he was totally ignoring the duties 
of a ruler of states. It is true that the Great 
Frederic was at times, during the Seven Years 
War, well-nigh as hard pushed as Napoleon, and 
that no thought of giving way ever entered 
his iron soul ; and he finally succeeded in hold- 
ing his own. Such an example may well have 
had an influence in shaping the line of con- 
duct which Napoleon proposed to himself. Be 
that as it may, it remains true, that during this 
very campaign in France, offers of peace were 


repeatedly made which would at any rate have 
saved France from the terrible misfortune of hav- 
ing her form of government settled for her by 
her enemies, a misfortune which was destined to 
bear its bitter fruit to succeeding generations in 
revolution after revolution. But Napoleon had 
chosen his rdle, and he stuck to it. If fortune 
favored his military combinations, he would come 
out of the contest with flying colors ; he would 
not have compromised the honor of the flag, nor 
have yielded a foot of soil which France had ever 
owned ; if the fates were against him, it would 
be said of him that he had made a brave and 
skilful defence, and that France, having been 
overpowered by numbers, had not lost her proud 
name. Suf&ce it to say, that all that a m^itary 
man could do to defend his country against in- 
vasion with the utterly inadequate force, which, 
owing to his reckless and insane folly in failing 
to withdraw his garrisons from Germany and his 
armies from Spain, was all that remained to him 
to use against the allies, was done. The question, 
however, being in Napoleon's hands a purely 
military one, and all his skill not suf&cing to 
supply his wof ul lack of resources, the inevitable 
termination at length came, more unexpectedly 
to him, probably, than to any one else. Paris 
surrendered on the 30th of March, and the war 
was over. The Empire of Napoleon had fallen. 
It only remained for the conquerors to decide 
what was to become of France and of Napoleon 



It is April, 1814. The allied armies are 
quartered in Paris. Blucher and Schwartzen- 
berg and Barclay de Tolly, generals whose names 
the Parisians have hitherto connected only with 
the far-off battlefields of J6na and Lutzen and 
Dresden and Smolensk and Borodino, may now 
be seen riding in the Champs Elys^es and vis- 
iting their camps in the Bois de Boulogne. The 
good people of France are indignant with the 
Emperor for having permitted by his reckless 
conduct such a retribution as this, and no won- 
der. The allied sovereigns, for the Czar Alex- 
ander and the King of Prussia are with their 
troops, are beset with suggestions and advice 
from the partisans of the old monarchy. They 
are assured that France is weary of Napoleon 
and his endless wars, and desires nothing better 
than a return to the old, sound, conservative 
regime of the ancient dynasty. 

In a certain sense there was a great deal of 
truth in this. All classes were tired of war. 
Everybody felt the humiliation of defeat and 


invasion. There never had been any interest in 
the Spanish war, and few had ever been hardy 
enough to justify it. The war with Russia was 
generally considered as the cause of the present 
calamities^ and the fact that it was, to say the 
least of it, quite as much the work of Alexander 
as of Napoleon, was not known ; to all appear- 
ance it had looked like a wanton invasion of a 
country with which Prance might have been and 
ought to have been at peace. In addition to 
the condemnation of Napoleon's course in respect 
to Spain and Russia, there had now come to be 
felt the most bitter indignation at his reckless- 
ness and obstinacy in refusing the honorable and 
advantageous offers of peace which had been 
made to him during the year that had passed. 
In short, there could be no doubt that the coun- 
try condemned the foreign policy which Napo- 
leon had latterly pursued, which, as people justly 
thought, had led directly to the humiliation of 

It was, however, no less true, that, apart from 
this, the people were content with the existing 
government. The great body of the middle and 
lower classes feared and detested a return of the 
Bourbons and the ancient noblesse. The army 
was still devoted to the Emperor. The upper 
classes felt that they had more to lose than to 
gain by a change of dynasty. Only the fanatics 
in the cause of divine right really demanded Louis 
XVIII. as the logical sequence of the fall of the 


usurper and the close of the revolutionary period. 
But this party was naturally in an hour like this 
the most jubilant and the most noisy. Moreover, 
it had the ear of the great personages whose 
word was to determine what was to be done. 

In an evil hour Alexander listened to their 
suggestions. He decided, and his allies readily 
acquiesced, that the powers would not treat with 
Napoleon. It was a most unjust, a most unwar- 
ranted, and a most unfortunate decision. What 
was it to them what should be the government 
of Prance? Far better would it have been if 
they had confined themselves to exacting from 
Napoleon such a peace as they had a right to ex- 
act, and had then left him to settle his accounts 
as best he might with the French people. He 
would in that event have had to stand the natu- 
ral consequences of his mistakes, of his perver- 
sity, of his blindness to the true interests of his 
country, of his wilful and obstinate preference of 
a militarv solution of the difficulties which had 
surrounded him to wiser and more peaceful meth- 
ods of escape. By thus distinguishing him from 
the country which he represented, they exhibited 
their mortal fear lest his genius might some day 
reassert itself and restore to France some portion 
at least of her former glory. They forced him 
to abdicate, thus freeing him at once from the 
burdens and difficulties, which as a disappointed 
and defeated monarch he would have had to en^ 
counter at every step of the new path of quiet- 


ness and moderation in which alone it was possi- 
ble at that time for Prance to walk. But to meet 
and to bear these difficulties and burdens could 
not but have been wholesome both for France 
and her Emperor. The process of readjustment, 
of reconciliation, would have been doubtless a 
disagreeable process, but it would have been a 
normal and necessary one, and there was no rea- 
son why the allied powers should have under- 
taken to prevent its taking place by arbitrarily 
relieving Napoleon from the cares and duties 
and responsibilities of continuing to govern a 
state to which his own folly and obstinacy had 
brought so many calamities. 

Then, if Napoleon was to be ignored, there 
was nothing else to do but to restore the Bour- 
bons. But what a responsibility was involved in 
taking this course! It was more than twenty 
years since the Bourbons had been dethroned, 
and the king and queen put to death. During 
that time, the French people had lived under 
and become profoundly attached to a system of 
things which was in all respects the opposite of 
that known as the old regime. The differences 
between the new system and the old, as I have 
pointed out before, were fundamental. The 
basis of the one was equality, of the other, privi- 
lege. The new system had been accepted by the 
French people. Embodied in the Code Napo- 
leon, it had connected itself with all the affairs 
of life, and had regulated and governed the re- 


lations of the shop, the factory, the family, and 
the state for more than twenty years. It is 
true, no one at this moment proposed to abol- 
ish the Code. But if the Bourbons were to be 
restored, the principle of divine right and of 
privilege must come back with them. And who 
could tell what revolutionary catastrophes might 
not be the result of thus forcibly reintroducing a 
principle which had been so deliberately and for 
so long a time rejected ? 

The allied sovereigns took this responsibiliiy 
of changing the government of France. One 
recommendation that this course had was, un- 
doubtedly, that it appeared to terminate the long 
conflict that, beginning with the French Revolu- 
tion in 1789, had gone on under Napoleon, be- 
tween the old and the new order of things, by 
the definitive, the complete, triumph of the cause 
of legitimacy and of privilege. 

The restoration of the Bourbons necessarily 
involved the exile of Napoleon. The govern- 
ment never existed that could have put up with 
Napoleon Bonaparte as a subject, a mere private 
citizen. For him to remain in France was mani- 
festly impossible. There was nothing left but 
exile. And it must be admitted that the victori- 
ous powers treated their fallen antagonist with 
consideration when they assigned to him the lit- 
tle island of Elba as the place of his residence. 
It was, however, as any one might have seen, a 
very unwise thing to do, for at Elba the fallen 


Emperor could receive all the European news as 
easily as could the Emperor Francis at Vienna 
or the Czar Alexander at St. Petersburg. And 
it ought to have been considered, that it was go- 
ing to prove impossible for the Bourbons fully to 
satisfy the people of Prance. How could the 
exiles of twenty years be expected to become rec- 
onciled to the new order of things to which all 
Frenchmen but the exiles had become irrevoca- 
bly attached ? How were the returning nobility 
to be treated ? Were the lands, which had been 
forfeited years ago, and which had since passed 
from purchaser to purchaser and from father to 
son, to be restored to their original owners? 
How was the army to be treated? How were 
the Prince of Cond,^ and the Duke of Berry 
likely to get on with the Duke of Elchingen and 
the Prince of Essling? The future of France 
was full of doubt. Not the least element in this 
uncertainty consisted in the well-known charac- 
teristic of the Bourbon family, that in aU its 
twenty years of exile, it had learned nothing and 
had forgotten nothing. And in any of the 
epochs of dissatisfaction which were morally cer- 
tain to occur, how easy would it be for Napoleon 
to return from Elba ? 

Nevertheless, in spite of these ugly probabili- 
ties, to Elba was Napoleon sent, and Louis XVIII. 
commenced his reign. At first, as was natural, 
everything looked well for the new monarch. 
The sense of relief from the interminable wars 



counted, of course, for much in this happy pros- 
pect. Then the restoration of peace brought 
with it in some quarters, at any rate, the restora- 
tion of trade, and an influx of foreign travellers. 
The new monarch was a gracious and weU-mean- 
ing man. He yielded his own prejudices so far 
as to give his people a parliamentary constitu- 
tion. He early saw the impracticability of sat- 
isfying the demands of the extreme royalists. 
Sooner than disturb existing titles, he diminished 
the state lands by grants to the needy nobility. 
Doubtless he tried his best. 

But the position was one which he never 
should have been called upon to occupy. It was 
impossible for any man, no matter what his abil- 
ity or his good purposes might be, to fill the 
throne of France at that time with satisfaction 
to the people of France. It does not make us 
view the reckless conduct of Napoleon in any 
more favorable light certainly, when we consider 
that it was due so largely to his folly that the 
normal political development of France was thus 
arrested, and its course turned, to a greater or 
less extent, into the discarded channels of eigh- 
teenth century politics. Yet so it was. The 
king might try conscientiously to fulfil his duty, 
but, do what he would, the fact that he and 
those about him represented ideas and principles 
which France had long ago rejected, that they 
were utterly out of sympathy with the views and 
aims which' were so dear to the great mass of the 


French people, could not but make it impossible 
for Louis to obtain a hold upon the national 
affection and esteem. 

Naturally enough, the army was especially 
dissatisfied with the new government. The 
royal dukes ranked everybody else, of course; 
and in addition to the irritation which all 
Frenchmen felt at distinction of any kind being 
the perquisite of mere birth was the peculiar 
grievance always felt by military men when ofl&- 
cers who have never seen the face of the enemy 
are placed above the veterans of many cam- 
paigns. Any one in the least acquainted with 
the standard of feeling on such subjects which 
prevails among military men the world over can 
understand that it was impossible that the sol- 
diers of Napoleon should not have felt the tran- 
sition to the regime of the Bourbons irksome 
and well-nigh insupportable. And this may well 
have happened without any special fault on the 
part of Louis or his ministers. In addition, 
however, to these general causes of dissatisfac- 
tion, there were others. The reduction of the 
army, a measure really unavoidable, could not 
but render the government unpopular with those 
ofl&cers who were thus summarily discharged 
from service. Then there was more or less of 
suspicion of and hostility to the old and tried 
chiefs, which was fiercely resented not only by 
them but by the army generally. 

During the year 1814, some 200,000 French 


soldiers returned to France from foreign for^ 
tresses and garrisons. These men could not be- 
lieve that the Emperor could have been over- 
thrown without the intervention of traitors. 
They knew nothing of the share which Napo- 
leon's obstinacy and recklessness had had in 
bringing about the deplorable catastrophe. 
They were above all things anxious for another 
trial of strength between France and her ene- 

The new government also inade the mistake 
of interfering with the judiciary. It undertook 
on various pretexts to get rid of a great many 
judges, and to fill their places by men belongs 
ing to the reactionary party. The suspicions of 
people were aroused lest the well understood 
laws of the land should be administered in a 
sense contrary to their plain meaning. 

The returned emigrants, whose services to the 
royal family had given them a ready access to 
the throne, were naturally thoroughly distrusted 
by the nation, and they did not seek to diminish 
this feeling by their moderation either of lan- 
guage or behavior. They loudly urged the un- 
doing of all the work of the Revolution. They 
wantonly revived the memory of ancient ani- 
mosities. Among other pieces of folly, they 
persuaded the king to ennoble the family of 
Georges Cadoudal, who had suffered death in 
1804 for having conspired against the life of the 
First Consul. They even undertook to disturb 


the settlement with the Church effected by the 
Concordat. They persecuted the bishops who 
had accepted that wise measure and had for ten 
years faithfully acted under it. They gave the 
word to those priests, returned emigrants and 
others, of whom there were many in Prance, in 
whose weak minds the cause of the Church was 
inextricably confused with the cause of the Bour- 
bons, to preach a crusade against liberal ideas 
in politics, and to urge upon the government 
the re-adoption of the discarded system of intol- 
erance in matters of faith and worship. In fact 
nothing was left undone which could tend to 
alarm the good people of France in regard to 
the permanence of the fundamental institutions 
and reforms, which, acquired at so much ex- 
pense in the great Revolution, and consolidated 
by Napoleon, had been the cause and condition 
of so much prosperity and contentment. 

But, I hear some one say, Louis XVIII. 
was not an absolute monarch, like Napoleon, 
but a king whose powers were in some sort lim- 
ited by a constitution. He governed by means 
of a ministry, and by a ministry which must 
find its support in a Parliament. Here is a 
great improvement, certainly, over the govern- 
ment of Napoleon. France ought to have been 

This criticism, though specious, is in reality 
not sound. Let us grant at once and freely 
that the government of Louis XVIII. resembled 


in its essential features the government of Eng- 
land ; and furthermore, that the government of 
England was a freer government than that of 
France under Napoleon. But the institutions 
of Great Britain were based on class distinctions 
and privileges which were the abhorrence of 
the French people. The fundamental thing in 
France was equality before the law. If this be 
preserved, most Frenchmen cared little then and 
care little to-day who administers the govern- 
ment. If, on the contrary, this is endangered, 
France at once becomes agitated, restless, and 
ripe for revolt. No parliamentary representa- 
tion is accepted as a compensation for any dis- 
turbance of this fundamental principle. The 
new parliament was all very well, of course, but 
not having been evolved naturally in the course 
of the nation's political growth, having in fact 
been granted as a sort of offset for the infrac- 
tions of the principle of equality necessarily in- 
volved in the return of the Bourbons, it was 
worth but little either to the royal family as a 
recommendation of the old regime^ or to the 
French people as a means of political education. 
The difficulties with which the Bourbon dy- 
nasty had to contend were in truth practically 
insuperable. They were not the ordinary diffi- 
culties of all new governments. Changes like 
those which France passed through from 1789 
to the establishment of the Empire in 1804 are, 
in a certain real sense, the results of a process of 


evolution. They may, each successive one of 
them, have their peculiar difficulties, but, for 
the time being, each fulfils its natural, though 
perhaps transient, work. But the imposition by 
force upon an independent nation of a form of 
government for which its political history has in 
no wise fitted it, nay even, which in the evolu- 
tion of its poUtical life it has definitively re- 
jected, is to lay upon the administrators of that 
government tasks which they cannot accomplish, 
and to subject the nation to a yoke against 
which it will inevitably rebel. 

Added to these causes which so profoundly 
disturbed France was the unpopularity to which 
the government was no doubt undeservedly sub- 
jected, arising from the hard terms imposed on 
France by the allied powers. The ministry had 
done their best, unquestionably ; for it was of 
course for the interest of the government to ob- 
tain for France all the territory and colonies that 
the allied powers could be induced to concede. 
But many of their reasonable expectations and 
demands were disappointed. 

Another ground for discontent existed in the 
unavoidable depression in French manufactur- 
ing industries, resulting from throwing open the 
market to English goods. The declaration of 
peace operated like a sudden and total change in 
a tariff, and brought ruin, or at least temporary 
stagnation, into many hitherto prosperous dis- 


Napoleon's exile had, as I have pointed out, 
exempted him from the task, which by good 
rights should have fallen upon him, of standing 
up against these complaints and criticisms, and 
doing his best to repair these misfortunes. But, 
influenced partly by fear of his ever active 
sword, and partly by a desire to terminate the 
long crusade against the Revolution and Revolu- 
tionary principles by restoring the ancient throne 
of the Bourbons in the spot where the Revolu- 
tion had its origin, the allied powers committed 
the mistake of relieving the fallen Emperor 
from the necessity of facing the obloquy which 
his recent terrible mistakes had drawn upon 
him, of going on with the government of the 
country in spite of his diminished prestige, and 
of working out for France relief from the evils 
which his reckless course had brought upon her. 
As it was, all the complaints were laid at the 
door of Louis. Napoleon, in exile, driven from 
his country by his country's foes, became a 
greater hero than ever. To him all eyes were 
turned. Not only was the army to a man la- 
menting its great chief, but the bulk of the 
people, indignant, amazed, and enraged at the 
steps which the Bourbon government was tak- 
ing in the direction of a discarded past, and 
still more alarmed at the prospect of the future, 
looked wistfully across the Mediterranean for 
the return of him who alone had known how 
both to curb the passions of the Revolution and 


to give to the people of France the equal^ lib- 
eral, just, and humane laws which were the 
dearly bought acquisitions of her great convul- 

Of all this Napoleon was perfectly cognizant. 
He had his friends everywhere in France. From 
the beginning he had seen that he would soon 
be wanted. He knew that every month would 
bring greater difficulties to the Bourbon govern- 
ment. The only question was, whether the time 
for him had come. Whether he hastened his 
departure by fears of being removed to some 
distant place, I do not know. Such fears were 
certainly not without foundation. The allied 
powers in the Congress of Vienna were debating 
whether or not to depose Murat, although he had 
retired from the French alliance some months 
before the final catastrophe, under a solemn as- 
surance from Austria that his throne should not 
be disturbed. In all probability, when the Con- 
gress had got through with the vexed questions 
of Saxony and Poland, their disputes about 
which brought them to the brink of another 
war, they would take up the question of Napo- 
leon's residence, and it is hardly possible to sup- 
pose that he would have been permitted to retain 
Elba. At any rate, he solved this question for 
himself, and on the 1st of March, 1815, he landed 
in the Gulf of Juan near Cannes. He had with 
him Drouot, Bertrand, Cambronne, and some 
1,100 men of the Guard, with four guns. 


There is no need that I should tell here the 
story of that wonderful march : how the peasants 
brought provisions and transportation for the 
Uttle army ; how the villages welcomed the exile 
and the cities opened their gates to him ; how 
generals and marshals, feeling themselves bound 
by their lately given oaths to support the House 
of Bourbon, vainly endeavored to force the com- 
mon soldiers to fight with their old commander ; 
how the Emperor, with his customary sagacity 
and with more than his wonted intrepidity, 
trusted himself to regiment after regiment, and 
how he was rewarded for his confidence by their 
unqualified devotion. Nothing like it has ever 
been seen in history. Nothing can describe it 
so well as the words of his own proclamation, 
written on board the brig which brought him 
from Elba. "Victory," said he, "victory will 
advance at the full gallop ; the eagle with the 
national colors will fly from steeple to steeple 
even to the towers of Notre Dame." 

On the 7th of March Napoleon reached Gre- 
noble ; on the 10th he was at Lyons ; on the 
20th he entered Paris. Of the marshals, Mas- 
s^na had remained at his post at Marseilles; 
Macdonald had vainly endeavored to get his 
troops to obey his orders and check the march 
of the Emperor ; Ney, who had foolishly under- 
taken the task of fighting his former chief, had 
succumbed partly to the force of circumstances 
and partly to a natural revulsion of feeling, and 


had joined him; Soult, who was then minister 
of war, had kept his faith with the king, but 
he was no doubt glad to see Napoleon back 
again. Berthier most unaccountably followed 
Macdonald into Belgium, where the king had re- 
tired. Davout and Mortier, like Soult, remained 
in France and served the Emperor, as, after his 
bloodless and successful march, they were fully 
justified in doing. 

Never was a revolution more complete and 
more unopposed. There was, to be sure, some 
appearance of trouble in the south of France, 
where the royalists had many partisans, and spe- 
cially in Marseilles, the inhabitants of which were 
bitter against Napoleon for the loss of their com- 
merce during the past twenty years. But these 
outbreaks were not serious ; they do not deserve 
to be considered as qualifjdng the statement 
which may be safely made that France welcomed 
Napoleon back as the man of her choice. 

Wherever Napoleon had spoken on his jour- 
ney he had announced that his policy would be 
one of peace and reform. On his establishment 
at the Tuileries he sent messages of amity and 
of sincere acceptance of existing treaties to all 
the courts of Europe. But his couriers were 
turned back on the frontier. The allied powers 
then represented at the Congress of Vienna pro- 
claimed that Napoleon, by his escape from Elba, 
had placed himself beyond the protection of the 
law of nations. They entered into a solemn 


league against him^ pledging themselves to use 
their utmost exertions until they should compass 
his downfall. 

Everything that I have said before in refer- 
ence to the folly and injustice of the conduct of 
the allies in 1814, in refusing to treat with Na- 
poleon, applies with even greater force to this 
celebrated declaration. Now, at any rate, there 
was no room for mistake as to the public feeling 
of France. Now, it was too plain for contro- 
versy that the powers were banding themselves 
together to force upon France a government 
which she had positively rejected. Nothing can 
be alleged in excuse of the course which the 
allied sovereigns took at this juncture but that 
they distrusted Napoleon's professions and were 
afraid of his commencing a course of aggres- 
sion. To these suggestions it might well have 
been replied, in the first place, that the exten- 
sion of the French Empire had been mainly the 
result of the defeat of the coalitions formed 
against Napoleon, and not of his ambitious un- 
dertakings; in the second place, that Europe, 
reconstituted as it now was, was certainly able to 
resist any encroachment of France, should it be 
made; and thirdly, that the France of to-day 
was in a very different frame of mind from the 
France of 1805 or 1806, that Napoleon was 
likely to have his hands full at home in reconcil- 
ing her to her altered position among the na* 
tions, and in adjusting his own modes of gov- 


eminent to the demands of a people rendered 
exacting by the adversity which had befallen 
them through his recklessness and folly. But 
considerations of this kind do not appear to have 
been urged. The cry was for war, war to the 

On his part, Napoleon prepared for the im- 
pending struggle with all his usual energy and 
activity. At the same time he undertook to 
meet the demands of the leaders of the liberal 
party, who had long viewed with regret the 
military despotism which had prevailed during 
the Empire, and who required at Napoleon's 
hands the institution of representative assem- 
blies. These demands, reasonable in themselves, 
it was no doubt wise to grant ; at the same time, 
environed as France then was by her enemies, 
the realization of them should have been post- 
poned. In time of war, the best government is 
a military despotism; and if France was going 
to maintain her right to choose her own form 
of government in face of the hostility of united 
Europe, it could only be done by deferring all 
questions of domestic politics until she had set- 
tled the vital question whether she was or was 
not to be allowed to dispose of her own affairs 
in her own way. Napoleon, however, proclaimed 
a new constitution, and convened under it a 
House of Peers and a Chamber of Deputies. 

There can be no question that France in 1815 
was prepared for the worst. The people were 


determined that the Bourbons should not be 
forced upon them again. Patriotic addresses 
and offers of assistance were showered upon 
the Emperor. Public enthusiasm rose to a great 
height. It was plain that the masses of the 
people had made up their minds to stand by 
the tricolored flag no matter what might be the 
fortune of war. The only quarter where there 
was any doubt respecting the existence of this 
determination to resist the threatened invasion 
to the last was among the leaders of the consti- 
tutional party, so called. It is true that these 
gentlemen had but a small following among the 
masses of the people, who were by no means 
sufficiently educated in political matters to care 
much about parliaments and cabinets; yet the 
very fact of their being more interested in polit- 
ical matters than other people were made them 
prominent in the new Parliament which Napo- 
leon had just established. These gentlemen, 
among whom was our own Lafayette, had prac- 
tically made their adhesion to their country's 
cause dependent on Napoleon's granting such 
parliamentary institutions as they thought France 
ought to have. It was no secret that, in their 
eyes, these institutions were the principal things 
to be considered, to which the right of their 
country to dispose of herself and her affairs as 
she saw fit, without dictation from foreign pow- 
ers, was to be postponed. They had accordingly 
viewed the restoration of the Bourbons in the 


preceding year without alarm or hostility, and it 
was certainly to be feared that they could not be 
relied upon now to defend the nation to the last 
against the new invasion. It was a mistake, as 
it turned out, on Napoleon's part, not to have 
dissolved the Chambers before he took the field. 
But that French politicians, whether legitimists 
or constitutionalists, imperialists or republicans, 
should prefer the triumph of their own theories 
to the independence of their country has been a 
spectacle of such frequent occurrence that it can 
no longer excite surprise. 

The nation, as I have said, had fully made up 
its mind to the worst ; that is, to another invasion 
of the soil of France. For this invasion, people 
meant this time to be prepared. The efforts of 
Napoleon to fortify Paris, Lyons, and other im- 
portant points were zealously carried out. There 
was no lack anywhere of energy, activity, patri- 
otism. The thing for Napolefon to do was to 
conserve all this moral force for the terrible 
struggle which was now inevitable ; to augment 
his armies, to strengthen his fortifications, to 
complete his armaments of all kinds, to get all 
the delay he could, to await the enemy within 
the territory of France, and then deal him the 
tremendous blows which no one but he could 
deal. This course would have given him ample 
time to bring out the still enormous military re- 
sources which France possessed. The opening 
of the campaign would have been deferred until 


every fortified town was in condition to resist a 
prolonged siege. More than this, this course, if 
undertaken with a deliberate and irrevocable de- 
termination never to yield, no matter what might 
be the odds against him, would have secured 
the practically unanimous and hearty support of 
the nation, while a prorogation of the legisla- 
ture during the period of invasion would have 
prevented the cause of the country being given 
away by any weak-kneed political theorists in 

Unhappily, such a serious grasp of the situa- 
tion seems to have been beyond Napoleon's ca- 
pacity. He relied in 1815, as hitherto, mainly 
upon his own skill and good fortune, and neg- 
lected entirely the establishment of that identi- 
fication of his cause with that of France which 
alone could give the struggle a reasonable 
chance of success. France, at this crisis of her 
fate, needed a Frederic rather than a Napoleon. 
With a man of the iron temper of the king who 
carried his country through the Seven Years 
War, France would have maintained her inde- 
pendence. But Napoleon gave to the struggle 
the character of a military and political experi- 
ment, and the first defeat settled the whole mat- 
ter. It was another example of the same ven- 
turesome reliance on his military combinations 
which we have observed so often in his history, 
and which we saw fully exemplified as far back 
as the campaign of Marengo. 


The fall of the French Empire had brought 
all western Germany and the greater part of 
Italy under the control of Austria and Prussia. 
Had any free expression been allowed to the 
communities which had formed the Confedera- 
tion of the Rhine and the Kingdom of Italy, 
they would unquestionably either have declared 
for France or would have remained neutral. 
Already had the harsh military rule of Prussia 
begun to chafe the populations of the late King- 
dom of Westphalia. Already had Bavaria and 
Wurtemberg begun to dread the encroachments 
of the House of Hapsburg. Even now the com- 
paratively free populations of Lombardy and 
Venice were suffering from the despotic rule of 
the Austrians. But there was nothing to be 
done save to submit, and all the resources of 
these states were placed at the disposal of the 
three great monarchies. 

Austria was far from being in a condition to 
begin the war immediately. The soldiers of the 
Czar had arrived home again, and would not be 
available for service on the Rhine for many 
weeks. Prussia, however, was ready with a con- 
siderable force, and it was arranged that her 
army, with another to be furnished by England, 
Holland, Belgium, and some of the smaller Ger- 
man states, should occupy Belgium, defend Hol- 
land in case of invasion, and, when the other 
armies should be ready to move, invade France 
from the side of the north. 



The forces of the Duke of Wellington and 
Marshal Blucher numbered together about 
223,000 men, of whom the Duke could bring 
into the field about 95,000 men and the mar- 
shal about 110,000 men. They were stationed 
in various towns and villages, extending nearly 
from Li^ge on the east to Ostend on the west. 
Speaking generally, the Prussians were on the 
east and the English on the west of the great road 
which runs due north from Charleroi to Brussels. 
The Prussian base of operations and depots of 
supplies were on the Rhine, in the direction of 
Namur and Li^ge; those of the English were 
on the sea, at Ostend and neighboring ports. It 
was plain to Napoleon that if, by a battle fought 
near this great road from Charleroi to Brussels, 
he could badly defeat either of these armies the 
connection between them would in all probability 
be severed, as the beaten army, if it retired, as 
it probably would, on its own base, would be 
obliged to separate itself definitely from the other 
army, whose base lay in precisely the opposite 
direction. He would then be able to deal with 
either army separately ; and, as he expected to be 
able to bring into the field an army decidedly su- 
perior to either force taken alone, this plan looked 
very promising. Moreover, England and Prussia 
were the two most active powers in the coalition, 
and any serious misfortune befalling them in the 
outset of the war poijld pot but tend very much 
to discourage ^ the allied powers, and rendei 


them, or some of them, willing to listen to rea- 
sonable terms of accommodation. I have al- 
ready expressed my own belief that under the 
circumstances it would have been wiser for Na- 
poleon to have awaited the invasion of France 
by the allies : nevertheless, there is a great deal 
to be said in favor of the policy of taking the 
oflFensive which he adopted. It was a policy 
certainly more in accordance with his character 
and peculiar genius. 

Accordingly he began in the latter part of 
May gradually concentrating his corps d^ami^e 
in the neighborhood of the Belgian frontier. 
Before the middle of June this movement was 
accomplished. From various causes, which we 
have not time to recapitulate, he was unable to 
muster more than 125,000 to 130,000 men for 
this campaign. These were organized as fol- 
lows : the first corps under General Drouet 
d'Erlon; the second under General Reille; the 
third under General Vandamme ; the fourth un- 
der General Gerard; the sixth under General 
the Count de Lobau ; and the Imperial Guard. 
Of these officers it is to be noticed that not one 
had attained the rank of marshal. They were 
all gallant and meritorious officers, undoubtedly, 
but no one among them had made any special 
mark in his long years of service. Perhaps the 
Count de Lobau was the most distinguished ; he 
had won his title in the trying days of Aspern 
and Essling, six years before. Gerard and Van- 


damme had deserved reputations as hard fight- 
ers ; d'Erlon and Reille had served a great deal 
in Spain, and were, perhaps, not so well known 
as the others to the public. 

To Marshal Ney the Emperor assigned com- 
mand of the left wing of the army, consisting 
of the first and second corps. But by some in- 
explicable oversight, Ney had received no orders 
until he received that to join the army. The 
consequence was that he knew nothing about 
the troops ho was to command, and that, sum- 
moned as he was at the last minute, he was 
scarcely able to find a horse to ride, and came 
on from Paris with only a single aide-de-camp. 
This carelessness of Napoleon's on the eve of a 
tremendous and exceedingly doubtful struggle 
it is indeed hard to understand. 

To Marshal Grouchy, a new appointment, the 
Emperor assigned command of the right wing, 
consisting of the third and fourth corps, re- 
serving the sixth corps and the Guard for his 
own immediate control. Grouchy was a man of 
known gallantry and a faithful officer, but he 
had never made that sort of a reputation which 
Napoleon in his younger days used to require 
before he bestowed upon a general the baton 
of marshal. To entrust a division commander 
with the command of two corps was taking a 
very great risk. Nor was there any necessity 
for it at all. The services of Marshal Davout 
could have been had, than whom Napoleon 


never had an abler or more devoted lieutenant. 
This marshal, whom Napoleon had made Minis- 
ter of War, and had charged with the defence 
of Paris, begged the Emperor to allow him to 
take the field under him ; he represented that 
the defence of Paris, notwithstanding its incon- 
testable importance, was, like all questions of 
interior defence, a secondary matter, and essen- 
tially subordinate to the result of military opera- 
tions ; that when one was about to play a deci- 
sive game on the field of battle, it was no time 
to make trial of new men; that it was neces- 
sary, on the contrary, to surround one's self with 
those who had made proof of their capacity, and 
had had experience of high command. But to 
all these representations the Emperor turned a 
deaf ear. " I cannot," said the Emperor, " en- 
trust Paris to any one else." " Sire," said the 
marshal, ^*if you are victorious, Paris will be 
yours ; if you are beaten, neither I nor any one 
else can help you." There was really no answer 
to this suggestion. The Emperor undoubtedly 
was thinking of the unnecessary surrender of 
Paris the year before; but the circumstances 
now were wholly different. There was no en- 
emy n5w threatening Paris, as there was then. 
It is impossible to imagine any sufficient justifi- 
cation for this refusal of Napoleon's to permit 
Davout to serve with the active army. It was 
an error of judgment that probably cost Napo- 
leon his throne. 


Deprived of Berthier, his old chief of stafiF^ 
as we have seen^ Napoleon selected Marshal 
Soult, another singular choice. Soult had for 
years commanded an army himself, and had had 
a chief of staff of his own. Such a man is not 
likely all at once to fall into the careful and 
methodical habits of a Berthier. There were 
many younger officers of known capacity, any 
of whom would have made quite as good a 
chief of staff as Marshal Soult, and Soult might 
well have taken command of one of the corps, 
or of the Guard, which in the absence of Mar- 
shal Mortier, who had fallen ill, was without a 

The Emperor was about to undertake an offen- 
sive campaign with 125,000 men against two ar- 
mies outnumbering his by about 100,000 men. 
It goes without saying that he should have made 
use of all his resources. Had Davout instead 
of Grouchy commanded the right wing, had 
Ney been properly forewarned, had Soult com- 
manded the Guard or a corps, and Grouchy the 
cavaby, the risk would have been great enough ; 
but it would have been much less than the risk 
actually encountered. In this emergency it was 
possible for Napoleon to avail himself of the ser^ 
vices of the man who had won the battle of 
Auerstadt ; it is absolutely inconceivable why he 
should have preferred to run the hazard of sup- 
plying his place by a general who had never in 
his life held a separate command. 


The Duke of Wellington, after making all de- 
ductions for garrisons and so forth, brought into 
the field somewhat over 90,000 men. Of these 
only about 35,000 were English troops, however. 
Of the remaining 55,000, the Duke considered 
not over 15,000 as perfectly trustworthy. The 
other troops, being raised in Holland, Belgium, 
and Nassau, so long under French control, were 
distrusted by him, as much because of their 
supposed preference for his antagonist's cause 
as for their admitted inferiority to his English 
troops. He had under him Sir Thomas Picton 
and Lord Hill, two of his best Peninsular officers. 
The Prince of Orange and the Duke of Bruns- 
wick also held high commands in his motley 
army. The cavalry were under Lord Uxbridge, 
afterwards the Marquis of Anglesey. 

The Prussian army consisted of four strong 
corps averaging nearly 30,000 men each. Biilow 
was the only corps commander who had won any 
European reputation. 

On the 12th of June the Emperor left Paris. 
On the 14th he was with the army, and issued to 
it one of those stirring proclamations with which 
he had always aroused the spirits of his soldiers 
when on the eve of a decisive struggle. He re- 
minded them that it was the anniversary of Ma- 
rengo and of Friedland ; he called to their minds 
the injustice of the coalition against France ; he 
urged them to conquer or to die. 

At noon of the 15th the army, or a large part 


of it, was across the Sambre. Its watchfires the 
night before had given notice of its concentra- 
tion and near approach. The Prussians on the 
border were warned, and opposed a resolute 
countenance to the advancing columns. There 
was a certain amount of delay here and there in 
the movements of the troops, such as always 
happens when an army takes the field after a 
long period of inaction ; but, generally speaking, 
things went well with the French. Napoleon's 
plan of campaign was, as I have said, to sepa- 
rate the English and Prussian armies from each 
other. With his left wing under Ney he under- 
took to hold the straight road from Charleroi to 
Brussels ; with his right wing and centre he in- 
tended to fight the Prussians, who he expected 
would be able to Concentrate sooner than the 
English, and whojm knew would be obliged to 
fight, if they intended to fight at all, on the east 
of that road. At night of the 15th, accordingly, 
Ney was at Frasnes with one division of the 
second corps and some cavalry, opposite one of 
Wellington's Dutch brigades,^ which was hold- 
ing Quatre Bras; while the greater portion of 
the third corps was near Fleurus, confronting 
the Prussian corps of Ziethen. The bulk of the 
French army was within supporting distance of 
the heads of the two columns constituting the 

^ The commander of this brigade, Prince Bernard of Saxe 
Weimar, deserves great credit for having, without orders, got 
his command together at Quatre Bras. 


wings, although a considerable part had not yet 
crossed the river. The progress made had not 
been what the Emperor had expected it would 
be, what it would have been had he had as his 
corps commanders the brilliant men who, brought 
to the top in the turmoil of the Revolution, had, 
ten years before, captured Ulm and won Auster- 
litz ; still it had been on the whole a satisfactory 
day. There was nothing to prevent the whole 
army being in position at Quatre Bras and at 
Fleurus by noon of the 16th. 

Much has been written about the fault of Ney 
in not occupying Quatre Bras on the night of 
the 15th. I shall only say that, so far as I can 
ascertain, he did not receive on the 15th any 
orders to do so ; that it was a step which no pru- 
dent officer would have taken without orders ; 
and lastly, that the position ought to have been 
and might have been carried before noon or 
early in the afternoon of the next day, which 
would have answered every purpose. 

While Napoleon was thus massing his forces, 
what were the alUes doing? 

The Prussian corps of Ziethen, as we have seen, 
had resolutely opposed the French advance dui> 
ing the day of the 15th, and of course Marshal 
Blucher had had ample warning of the impend- 
ing storm. He had ordered up the other three 
corps, though, owing to a blunder, only two of 
them began their march that day. That even- 
ing, while Ziethen was near Ligny, Pirch was at 


Mazy, and Thielmann at Namur. Biilow was 
still at Li^ge. Notwithstanding the absence of 
Billow, which left him only 90,000 men, the 
brave old marshal meant to fight Napoleon, 
though he supposed he carried with him 130,- 
000 Frenchmen. He relied to a certain extent, 
though not probably very definitely, upon help 
from Wellington. But, as it turned out, the 
movement of Ney on the Brussels turnpike pre- 
vented Wellington from affording his ally any 

As for the Duke of Wellington, he certainly 
cannot be credited with having displayed either 
energy or sagacity during this day of the 15th. 
By some mischance, no news of the French ad- 
vance reached Brussels till three in the afternoon, 
some twelve hours after the crossing of the Sam- 
bre, and then the information was very indefinite. 
The Duke, instead of riding to Genappe, or, if 
necessary, to Quatre Bras, to find out the facts 
for himself, went to the Duchess of Richmond's 
ball. It is true that he issued orders late in the 
afternoon to the troops to be in readiness to 
move. At this time there was only one Dutch 
Belgian brigade at Quatre Bras, and that was 
there without orders. As he was going to the 
ball, however, more definite information came pf 
the French advance from Charleroi. But the 
Duke had his own notions of what Napoleon was 
going to do. He thought that Napoleon would 
attempt to turn his right, and so cut him off 


Scale of KUes. 

-4 ^£^ 


Fo^s-t of* 




le Chateau 



enoit f Otti^tes 

^ Genappe 

. Corbalx 

Sa^T a vj^alhain « 

^\ } ^ f* \ y^Sauvenieres 


Jli) GE>f^OU)< 

^^,^P^i^^*=*=*^^ Mazy 

•f' Gosselles 



Situation of the opposing Armies at 9 A. Af., June 16th, 1815, 

French, ■ English, H 

Napoleon's Headquarters, "T" English Headqnartere, -4^ 

Uey'g ** B Prussians, t^ 

Prussian Headquarters, ^ 


£rom the sea. Full of this idea, he sends all his 
troops off to the westward of the turnpike. 
The third division is ordered to Nivelles, seven 
miles away ; the first to Braine-le-Comte, fifteen 
miles away; the second and fourth divisions 
and the cavalry reserve to Enghien, more than 
twenty miles away. Even the brigade now at 
Quatre Bras is ordered off to Nivelles. The 
Brussels turnpike was to be left entirely unde- 
fended for miles ; only the reserves had been 
ordered from Brussels to Waterloo to resist the 
movement which Napoleon was really making. 
The orders which the Duke gave, had they been 
promptly carried out, would have separated the 
English army from the Prussian by a gap of 
twelve or fifteen miles. Nothing better could 
have been devised by Napoleon himself. 

. But fortune on this occasion, as often before, 
favored the Duke of Wellington. Not only did 
Prince Bernard's brigade remain at Quatre Bras, 
but Perponcher, who commanded the division, 
brought over to its support from Nivelles the 
other brigade, Bylandt*s. Then, during the 
forenoon of the 16th, Wellington rode down to 
Quatre Bras in person, and gave orders for a 
concentration there of a considerable part of his 

The French army, in its protracted and labori- 
ous march of the day bef ore^ had become so much 
scattered that it took most of the forenoon to 
get it well in hand. The concentration <>f thd 


right wing and centre, which took place under 
Napoleon's own eye, was at last satisfactorily 
effected, and the third and fourth corps and 
the Guard were in position near Fleurus by noon, 
if not before; the sixth corps came up in the 
course of the afternoon. As regards the left 
wing of the army, d'Erlon had in the early morn- 
ing finished crossing the Sambre, and had taken 
post in rear of Gosselies, where were two divi- 
sions of the second corps under Reille. Another 
division of the second corps was further to the 
front, at Frasnes. The fourth division under 
Girard was with the right wing of the army. 
About nine o'clock the Emperor issued orders 
for Ney to advance with his entire command and 
occupy Quatre Bras. 

While these movements were being made, the 
Emperor was studying the situation. It seemed 
at first as if neither of the allied armies had been 
able to concentrate in sufficient force to oppose 
him. The corps of Ziethen was the only Prus- 
sian corps which he had yet encountered. The 
force which had been observed by his advanced 
posts at Frasnes did not seem like a large one. 
Could he then safely assume that he was to be 
allowed to march on Brussels without serious 
molestation, and that Wellington and Bliicher 
had retired for the time being upon their re- 
spective bases ? 

Before the French army had got itself to- 
gether, however, it became evident to the ex- 


perienced eye of Napoleon that the corps of 
Ziethen was receiving large reinforcements from 
the eastward^ and that the Prussians had no 
idea of leaving their positions at Saint Amand 
and Ligny. An attack on them before they 
should be reinforced by the English became^ 
therefore, imperative. In such an attack he had 
no doubt whatever of being successful. The 
Emperor also calculated that Ney, with the 
40,000 men assigned to him, would be stronger 
than any force which the Duke could collect, 
scattered as he knew the English and Dutch 
forces to have been. He therefore expected suc- 
cess on both ends of the line. 

Accordingly, after making his usual personal 
reconnoissance on the line of the vedettes, he 
attacked the Prussians vigorously between two 
and three o'clock. The corps of Vandsunme and 
Gerard, assisted by the division of Girard from 
the second corps, threw themselves impetuously 
into the villages of Saint Amand and Ligny, 
where the Prussians had taken post. Never was 
a battle more hotly disputed. The Prussian po- 
sition was a strong one, and their soldiers made 
good use of the stone houses in the villages. 
Saint Amand was captured and recaptured. The 
contest seemed to gravitate, so to speak, to 
this village, which was on the Prussian extreme 
right. It became evident to Napoleon that Mar- 
shal Blucher, carried away by his ardor, was ac- 
tually thinking of turning the French left. It 


was plain that he was stripping his centre, be- 
hind the village of Ligny, of troops. The Em- 
peror ordered the Guard to prepare for action. 

Suddenly, about six o'clock, word is brought 
to hiTn of the appearance of a strong body of 
troops marching from the direction of the turn- 
pike" towards his left. The projected movement 
of the Guard is at once suspended, until it can 
be ascertained what these troops are. Meantime 
a dreadful suspicion runs through the ranks that 
Ney has met with a disaster, and that it is an 
English corps which is approaching. But this 
is of short duration. The Prussian cavalry are 
seen skirmishing with and then retiring before 
the strange corps. Every one then assumes that 
Ney has been successful, and that he has sent this 
body of troops to assist his master. Suddenly 
the corps is seen to halt, to face about, and then 
slowly to disappear to the westward. The bat- 
tle is resumed as before. The Emperor takes up 
again his favorite manoeuvre of breaking the 
centre of the enemy's line. The Imperial Guard, 
preceded by its formidable artillery, and flanked 
by its equally formidable cavalry, carries every- 
thing before it. The Prussian positions in the 
rear of Ligny are occupied in spite of a spirited 
resistance, and the safety of the troops in Saint 
Amand is gravely compromised. Over twenty 
pieces of cannon are taken. Had the attack 
been made earlier, as it would have been but for 
the unexpected delay mentioned above, several 


thousand prisoners must have been captured. 
NapQlgon^ had wo^ his lasj .victory. 

Let us now return to the left wing, under 
Marshal Ney. That ofl&cer received somewhere 
between ten and eleven o'clock orders to occupy 
Quatre Bras. Why they were not sent before is 
by no means clear, but it was probably because 
Napoleon had not fully made up his mind what 
course to take. Ney proceeded at once to ex- 
ecute his instructions. The rest of the second 
corps, Reille's, was brought up to Frasnes. Or- 
ders were inmiediately sent to d'Erlon to fol- 
low ReiUe. D'Erlon got Jiis orders, he says, at 
half past eleven ; Reille may have received his a 
little before. As matter of fact they both knew 
more than an hour before what their orders were 
to be, as the despatch to Ney had been commu- 
nicated to Reille as early as ten o'clock by the 
Emperor's own aide-de-camp on his way to Ney's 
headquarters, and Reille had at once sent word 
to d'Erlon. There was no reason in the world 
why these officers should not have got under 
way at half past ten, for they ought, of course, 
to have been ready to move at a moment's warn- 
ing. In this case they would have reached 
Frasnes by half past twelve. As it was, Reille, 
with two divisions of his corps, joined the thii'd 
division at Frasnes shortly before two. As for 
d'Erlon, he ordered his corps to Frasnes, and 
then preceded it, to see what was going on at the 
front. While there, an aide-de-camp of the Em- 


going. The greater part of the Prussian army * 
bivouacked only a short distance in rear of where 
they had fought, and only started to leave at 
daybreak. The ignorance, therefore, which pre- 
vailed at Napoleon's headquarters as to the 
whereabouts of the enemy was utterly without ex- 
cuse. One Prussian corps was at Gembloux at 
two in the afternoon of the next day. Whether 
information of this nature is or is not that which 
a chief of staff ought to procure without special 
orders, I shall not undertake to say. 

There can be no doubt, too, as to the careless 
confidence displayed by Napoleon on the morn- 
ing of l;he 17th. It is true that he always pre- 
ferred to give his soldiers a rest after a battle. 
He never called upon them, when he could help 
it, for continuous labor and daily exposure. But 
in the emergency in which he then was, every- 
thing depended on knowing where the Prussians 
had gone, whether to their own base of opera- 
tions, to Li^ge or elsewhere to the eastward, or 
to the north, so as to unite with Wellington 
and fight another battle. Until this was settled, 
Napoleon had no right to take a moment's re- 

Napoleon, however, on this occasion did not 
display the indefatigable activity of his earlier 
years. Pajol having picked up some cannon and 
prisoners on the road to Namur, it was hastily 
assumed, apparently, that the bulk of the Prus- 
sian army had relocated in that direction. In 


this belief, the Emperor was unwilling to march 
against the English with his whole army ; he felt 
that he ought, and that he could afford, to leave 
a considerable force to harass and follow up the 
Prussians, as well as to protect his communica- 
tions in his march on Brussels, in the event of 
their rallying. 

Hence, near noon, he ordered Grouchy to take 
the third and fourth corps, which had been 
previously placed under his command, with one 
division of the sixth corps, the cavalry of Exel- 
mans, and part of that of Fajol, the whole 
amounting to upwards of 33,000 men, and to 
pursue the Prussians. He gave him at first 
verbal orders ; but, seeing from the way in which 
they were received that Grouchy was a man who 
needed more precise instructions, he gave him 
an order which he dictated to Bertrand, who hap- 
pened to be with him. This order, the existence 
of which for many years Marshal Grouchy de- 
nied, instructs Grouchy to move to Gembloux, 
and to explore the Namur road. But, though 
Napoleon undoubtedly supposed that the Prus- 
sians had retreated in this direction, he at the 
same time recognized the possibility of their hav- 
ing fallen back to the north, so as to join the 
English. Of this he warned Grouchy in this 
pregnant sentence, which is unquestionably the 
gist of the whole order : ^ — 

^^ It is important to find out what the enemy 

1 See Appendix VII. 


(Blucher) is intending to do ; whether he is sep- 
arating himself from the English, or whether 
'they are intending still to unite to cover Brus- 
sels or^ [and] Li^ge in trying the fate of an- 
other battle." Li^ge is coupled with Brussels 
in this connection simply as an alternative sup- 
position: if Brussels was to be covered, the 
Prussians must unite with the English ; if Li^ge 
was to be covered, the English must unite with 
the Prussians. It might be that the two armies 
were to be separated ; if so, so much the better. 
If, on the other hand, they were to try to unite, 
it would be to cover either Brussels or Li^ge. 
Any way, it was for Grouchy to ascertain their 

The Emperor had already told Grouchy very 
explicitly, what he himself was going to do, as 
Grouchy informs us : " I am going to reunite to 
the corps of Marshal Ney the troops I carry with 
me (i. e. the sixth corps and the Guard), to 
march upon the English, and to fight them, if 
they will stand thisj side of the Forest of 
Soignes," L e. anywhere, to the south of Brussels. 

These dispositions being made, the army at 
Fleurus breaks up : Grouchy takes the third and 
fourth corps to Gembloux ; the Emperor carries 
the sixth corps and the Guard lowards Quatre 
Bras, there joining Ney with the first and second 
corps. The English, slowly and in excellent 

* This order was dictated, not written, by the Emperor; 
doubtless the <' et '* shonld have been ** on." 


order, retire through Genappes to their chosen 
position just to the south of the little village of 
Mont St. Jean. 

The Emperor*, many critics have thought, 
ought to have employed the morning in attack- 
ing the Duke's forces at Quatre Bras. It is 
urged that, on the morning of the 17th, the 
Prussians were certainly out of reach, and the 
English could with equal certainty be got at. 
This criticism seems sound. The Emperor, how- 
ever, may have thought that his troops were too 
fatigued for a battle on the 17th ; that he would 
be able to deal the English a much more telling 
blow on the next day ; and that Grouchy's two 
corps would be abundantly able to stave off any 
interference by the Prussians, even if they would 
not be able to join him in an attack on the Eng- 
lish. Hence, perhaps, the apparently unnecessary 
delays of the morning. But I am free to say, 
the Emperor seems to me to have thrown away 
a great opportunity. 

Napoleon, it must be remembered, would never 
have divided his army in this way had he learned, 
as he ought to have done on the morning of 
the 17th, the direction which the Prussians had 
taken. Bliicher, although badly hurt by having 
been unhorsed and in fact ridden over in a cav- 
alry charge at the close of the battle of Ligny, 
was still full of fight ; and his able chief of staff, 
Gneisenau, issued orders for the whole army to 
retreat north upon Wavre, from whence to 


march to the assistance of the English, who had 
agreed to fight at Waterloo, distant some ten 
miles only. This movement upon Wavre, it is 
plain, eonld not be hindered by anything Napo- 
leon could now do, even if he had known it early 
in the morning. It would have been well enough 
to have sent a division of cavalry to watch the 
Prussians; but had he known the facts that 
morning, he would never have separated his 
army into two portions, — he would either have 
attacked the English at Quatre Bras at once, or 
he would have carried the whole army with him 
to the position in front of Mont St. Jean. From 
Napoleon's neglect to ascertain the facts, there- 
fore, arose the wholly unnecessary, and in fact 
very hazardous, action of dividing his army. 
( When Marshal Grouchy arrived at Gembloux 
that evening, he found that a large part of the 
Prussians had retired on Wavre ; and at ten 
o'clock in the evening he wrote a despatch, which 
might well have assured the Emperor that his in- 
terests on the right would be intelligently taken 
care of. In this letter he says that he has or- 
dered General Exelmans to push six squadrons 
on Sart h, Walhain, a village to the north of 
Gembloux, in the direction of Wavre, and three 
squadrons on Perwez, a village to the east of 
Gembloux, in the direction of Li^ge, and then 
says: — 

" If the mass of the Prussians retire on Wavre, 
I shall follow it in that direction, in order that 


they may not be able to gain Brussels and to 
separate them from Wellington. 

" If, on the contrary, my information proves 
that the principal force of the Prussians * has 
marched on Perwez, I shall direct myself by that 
city in pursuit of the enemy." 

When, about midnight of the 17th, the Em- 
peror got this letter, he may well have felt easy 
in his mind. If the Prussians had gone to Per- 
wez, they were of course going to Li^ge, and 
they would not trouble him at all. If, on the 
other hand, they had gone to Wavre, Grouchy 
had said that he would follow them in that direc- 
tion, so as to separate them from Wellington. 
Now he could not possibly manoeuvre with the 
intention of separating them from Wellington, 
who was on the Brussels pike, without approach- 
ing the main French army under Napoleon; 
such a manoeuvre must be made between Wavre 
and the main army. To manoeuvre in the di- 
rection of Wavre, therefore, necessarily implied 
Grouchy's approaching the main army during 
the course of the succeeding day; and if he 
could do anything to separate the Prussians from 
Wellington, so much the better. As for his pre- 
venting them from gaining Brussels, that was 
plainly impossible ; but by operating on the right 
of the army under Napoleon, he would at any 
rate prevent their troubling him, and he might 
even hinder their crossing the river Lasne and 
joining the Duke. 


^ Before two o'clock in the morning of the 18th 
Grouchy had ascertained that the Prussians had 
retired on Wavre, and at that hour he wrote to 
the Emperor that he was going to-Sart h Wal- 
hain^ which is in the direction of Wavre, and not 
in that of Perwez. He must therefore have made 
up his mind that their object was to join forces 
with the English. Whether this junction would 
take place to the south of Brussels or not was 
comparatively immaterial; in any event, it was 
exceedingly doubtful if it could be prevented; 
but the course for Grouchy to take was plain 
enough, — it was to march as quickly as he could 
towards the main army under the Emperor. His 
force was the right wing of that army ; it was 
clearly for him to get as speedily as possible be- 
tween it and the Prussians. The Prussians were 
at or beyond Wavre, not ten miles from the po- 
sition where the Emperor had told him he ex- 
pected to fight the English ; he was at Gembloux, 
more than twenty miles away. There was no 
time to be lost. Any delay might bring upon 
Napoleon the pressure of both the allied armies. 
All this is very simple ; indeed, Grouchy seems 
at ten o'clock in the evening to have seen it 
plainly enough. But forgetful, apparently, of 
his expressed intention contained in his letter 
of that hour, of manoeuvring in the direction of 
Wavre in such a way as to separate the Prussians 
from Wellington, he in his two o'clock in the 
morning despatch announces, as we have se^n, 



Situation of the opposing Armies at 4 A, 0/1., June 18th, 1815. 

French, ■ English, n 

Nai)Oleon's Headquarters, H^ English Headquarters, ^ 

Grouchy's " D Prussians, jm 

Prussian Headquarters, "^ 



his intention of going to Sart a Walhain, a step 
which most unnecessarily increased the distance 
between himself and the turnpike. Grouchy, in 
fact, instead of marching so as to separate the 
Prussians from Wellington, proposes to march in 
such a direction that they will be separating him 
from Napoleon. Had Grouchy, when, at two 
o'clock in the morning, he definitely ascertained 
that Blucher had retired on Wavre, given orders 
for his troops to march at four o'clock, that is, at 
sunrise, with all speed, by the country roads, of 
which there are plenty thereabouts, straight for 
the bridge of Mousty, he would have crossed the 
Dyle by twelve or one o'clock at furthest. He 
would have been able with his two corps to hold 
the defiles of the Lasne so as in all probability 
to have prevented the Prussians from taking part 
in the battle that day. As it was, he did not 
start till seven or eight o'clock in the morning, 
and then marched towards Wavre by way of 
Sart h Walhain, without * apparently a thought 
that this was not the way either to keep the Prus- 
sians separated from the English, or, in case that 
should be found impracticable, to rejoin Napo- 
leon and prevent his being overwhelmed by both 
armies. He had plenty of cavalry with him, but 
he never seems to have thought of sending out 
reconnoitring parties on his left ; still less of 
maintaining frequent communication with the 
Emperor. Worse than this : while he was tak- 
ing his breakfast at noon at a gentleman's house 


at Sart k Walhain, there came across the inter- 
vening miles of field and farm the ominous roar 
which told him that the battle in which Napo- 
leon's fate was to be decided had begun. With 
the aid of the people of the place, the situation 
of the contending armies was located with sirf- 
ficient precision. Gerard, who commanded the 
fourth corps, urged vehemently that they should 
march at once to the sound of the cannon. It 
was the obvious thing to do, and it was a matter 
wholly in Grouchy's discretion. He had received 
no orders, as some writers have ignorantly said, 
to go to Wavre ; and the only written order that 
he had received had warned him in so many words 
of the possibility of the Prussians uniting with 
the English to cover Brussels in trying the fate 
of another battle. That battle he now knew had 
begun. Could he prevent their uniting with the 
English by persisting in the course he was now 
pursuing? On the contrary, if he should suc- 
ceed in driving them from Wavre it would only 
be to drive them nearer to the English. The 
only course to take — and it was, unfortunately, 
too late in the day to hope that much good would 
result from it, but still it was the only thing to 
do — was to march to join the Emperor as fast 
as his men could go. That, at any rate, might 
avert a catastrophe; and something more than 
this, while it could not perhaps be reasonably ex- 
pected, still might be hoped for. Yet Grouchy, 
influenced to a certain extent, it is to be feared, 


by irritation at the temper which Gerard mani- 
fested, determined not to yield to his advice, and 
pursued his useless march northward to Wavre, 
where he occupied the afternoon in attacking the 
corps of Thielmann. As I said before, the Em- 
peror's inconceivable recklessness in trusting a 
man like Grouchy when he might have had Da- 
vout, cost him dear. 

To return now to the field of Waterloo. 

The two armies which found themselves face 
to face with one another were nearly equal in 
numbers. But that of Napoleon was not only 
somewhat stronger than that of his opponent in 
numbers, but was a far better army, taken as a 
whole. The Duke, who, still possessed by the 
notion that Napoleon intended to turn his right, 
had sent 18,000 men off to Tubize and Hal, 
had with him not more than 30,000 English 
troops, including the King's German Legion ; of 
the rest of his 68,000 men, he may have placed 
confidence in some 15,000 to 20,000 more, but 
the remainder he rated very low. He had agreed 
to fight at Waterloo, therefore, only on the as- 
surance which Bliicher had solemnly given him 
that he would send him one or two of his corps 
by noon at furthest. Had it not been for this 
assurance, Wellington would not have thought of 
risking a battle, especially as, for anjrthing that 
he knew. Napoleon had united his entire force 
against him. He probably had heard nothing 
of two corps being sent off under Grouchy to 
pursue the Prussians. 


The Duke, accordingly, prepared for a purely 
defensive battle. His arrangements were, as they 
always were, very carefully and skilfully made 
for such a battle. He did not, to be sure, 
strengthen his position by field-works, as the Rus- 
sians did at Borodino, but he did prepare two 
well-built and solid farmhouses — one on his ex- 
treme right, well known to all the world as Hou- 
goumont, and the other just in front of his left 
centre, on the Brussels turnpike, also well known 
as La Haye Sainte — for an obstinate resistance. 
He distributed his English and other trustworthy 
troops in such a way as to render a serious break 
in any part of the line improbable. The posi- 
tion he held was an admirable one for defence. 
The batteries and first line were posted on a 
crest, from which the ground sloped in front 
gently down. Behind the crest, his second line 
and reserves could be to a great extent covered 
from the fire of the French artillery. 

It had rained hard during the night, and the 
fields over which the French must advance in 
their attack were thoroughly soaked, and hardly 
practicable for cavalry and artillery, of both which 
arms Napoleon always made great use. Hence 
he delayed commencing the action till half past 
eleven o'clock. In thus postponing the battle, 
he relied, of course, on Grouchy's intervening 
between the main army and the Prussians in case 
the latter should attempt to assist the English. 
He supposed that he was going to have the Eng- 


lish all to himself, and, in this supposition, he 
delayed operations until the ground would ad- 
mit of the free employment of his whole force. 
He had with him, as we know, the first corps, 
which had not yet fired a shot, three divisions 
of the second corps, the fourth having been left 
at Ligny to guard the wounded and preserve the 
communications, two divisions of the sixth corps, 
the Guard, and several fine divisions of cavalry, 
— in all 72,000 men. In artillery the army was 
very strong. He entrusted to Ney the handling 
of the first and second corps, and retained the 
Guard and the sixth corps in reserve. 

At half past eleven the battle was begun by 
the second corps making a furious assault upon 
Hougoumont. After an hour or two the orchard 
and a part of the garden were carried, but the 
English still held the chateau, nor could the 
French drive them out.^ 

This attack, however, was not the one on which 
the Emperor relied to win the battle. His main 
operation was a movement to turn the Duke^s left. 
The first corps, massed in deep columns, and 
accompanied by a heavy force of artillery, ad- 
vanced from its position to a ridge somewhat in 
front of it, where the guns were posted. The 
infantry then advanced rapidly on the. allied line. 

1 An extension of the French left, which would have secured 
a position from which artillery could have demolished the or- 
chard wall and even the chateau, seems to have been deemed 


The attack was gallantly made, but it was re- 
sisted with the admirable steadiness and coolness 
of British soldiers. While d'Erlon's columns 
were crossing the valley, they suffered terribly 
from artillery fire, and on their arrival on the 
English position they were staggered by a brisk 
and well kept up musketry fire which hindered 
their deployment into line. Seeing their unstead- 
iness and confusion, Sir Thomas Picton, who 
commanded the English left wing, orders his 
men to charge them with the bayonet : they are 
thrown back into the valley, and while endeav- 
oring to straighten theinselves out are fiercely 
charged by the Scotch Greys and Inniskilling 
Dragoons. Many prisoners are taken, gunners 
and artillery horses sabred, and several guns ren- 
dered useless. The main attack of the first 
corps has been a complete failure. A gallant 
attempt to carry La Haye Sainte has also been 
completely repulsed. 

The English, however, had suffered severely. 
Especially in the death of Picton, a very able 
and experienced officer, who was killed in this 
affair, a great loss was sustained. Moreover, the 
Hanoverian and Dutch Belgian troops on this 
part of the line had become a good deal demor- 
alized. The English cavalry, also, which had 
done good service on both sides of the turnpike, 
had allowed themselves to be carried away in 
their impetuosity, and had been very badly cut 
up, when near the main French position ; being 


charged, when their horses were blown, by fresh 
bodies of French cavalry. The EngUsh left, de- 
prived of its gallant commander, and having suf- 
fered severely in every way, was open to another 
and more dangerous attack. 

After a while, d'Erlon succeeded in re-forming 
his corps ; his skirmishers in large numbers cov- 
ered the front of the English position east, and 
for a short distance also west, of the turnpike. 
The Emperor was about to make another attack 
on the English left, in which he intended that 
the first corps should be supported by the sixth. 

Before the attack of the first corps, which we 
have briefly narrated, was made, the Emperor had 
perceived, far to the northeast, what appeared 
to be a column of troops. Cavalry had been at 
once sent out, and they now reported that it 
was the Prussian corps of Billow, approaching 
from Wavre. Under these circumstances Na- 
poleon detained the sixth corps, and ordered Lo- 
bau, its commander, to take position in front of 
Planchenoit, and protect the right of the army. 

Napoleon was now fighting two battles. He 
was fighting the army under the Duke with the 
four divisions of the first and three (of the four) 
divisions of the second corps, containing now 
not much more than 28,000 infantry. He was 
fighting the Prussians with two (of the three) 
divisions of the sixth corps, containing perhaps 
7,000 infantry. For the present, at any rate, 
Lobau could keep the Prussians back. But un- 


less the infantry of the Guard should be put in, 
it was plain that Ney, who was in general charge 
of the main attack on the Duke of Wellington's 
army, which still contained some 40,000 infan- 
try, would not have a sufficient force of infantry 
to carry the enemy's line at any point. To put 
in the reserve at this stage of the action was cer^ 
tainly a step to be avoided, if possible, but with- 
out more infantry the position could not be csx- 

Napoleon, however, decided to allow Ney to 
try the effect of cavalry. And for some reason, 
which is not known, that ofl&cer directed this at- 
tack, not against the already enfeebled left wing 
of the Duke's army, but against its centre ; that 
is, on that part of the line which is between 
Hougoumont and the turnpike, where the Eng- 
lish infantry, though they had been exposed to 
the fire of artillery, had not as yet suffered 
greatly, and were still in perfect order. 

Accordingly, the French cuirassiers and lan- 
cers advanced gallantly across the plateau upon 
the English and Dutch squares. But they failed 
to break one of them. Surrounding them, try- 
ing in vain to find or to make an entrance, they 
were themselves subjected to a heavy musketry 
fire, and finally, as might have been expected, 
retired without having made any impression. 
Again and again was the charge renewed, but 
when the waves retired, the rock was still there. 
This series of cavalry attacks lasted some two 


hourS; and greatly exhausted the cavalry engaged 
in it. In fact, Ney, in his impetuosity and irri- 
tation, had even employed without orders the 
heavy cavalry of the Guard,^ so that at the close 
of these attacks the French army was left with- 
out any really formidable cavalry force for use 
in an emergency. 

Still, the English infantry lost heavily during 
this period of the battle ; not, to be sure, from 
the cavalry, but from the artillery and skirmish- 
ing fii-e which was steadily kept up while the 
French cavalry were not actually riding upon 
them. It was often impossible to tell when the 
cavalry charges were impending ; the regiments 
did not dare to break their squares and lie 
down ; they remained hopelessly exposed to the 
fire of the French skirmishers, to which in this 
formation they could make no adequate return, 
while the round shot from the crest of the 
French position ploughed through their ranks. 
Thus the effective strength of the centre of the 
British army was greatly diminished by six in 
the afternoon. 

On the English left, too, the artillery and skir- 
mish fire of the first corps had been very de- 
structive. It is certain that many of the foreign 
regiments in the Duke^s army were pretty well 
exhausted, not to say demoralized, while many 
English regiments were fearfully reduced. 

Shortly before six o'clock Ney made another 

1 See Appendix VIII. 


effort to possess himself of the fannhouse of La 
Haye Sainte. This time he succeeded ; the bat- 
talion of the King's German Legion, which un- 
der Major Baring had heroically defended the 
post, having exhausted its ammunition. This 
capture greatly encouraged the French. It car- 
ried with it also certain very important advan- 
tages. Under cover of the ground thus captured, 
guns were placed which enfiladed the allied line, 
and caused destruction among the English bat- 
teries on the crest. The French cavalry could 
be concealed behind the bluffs near La Haye 
Sainte, ready to throw themselves upon any un- 
lucky regiment which, to free itself from the 
cloud of skirmishers which were annoying it, 
might venture to deploy from the square for- 
mation into line. Instances of this happened. 
Everything combined to induce a general feeling 
of danger and insecurity on this part of the 
Duke's position. In fact, there was at one time 
an actual gap in his line, behind La Haye Sainte 
and a Kttle to the westward of the turnpike, to 
fill which the Duke brought over from his right 
portions of his reserves. In spite of this, how- 
ever, this part of the line was very weak. For 
an hour and more after the capture of La Haye 
Sainte, though no organized attack was made on 
the Duke's army, it was probably suffering more 
than its antagonist from the causes which have 
been just pointed out. 

Meanwhile Billow, who, from ignorance on the 


part of thfe French staff, probably, of the nature 
of the miry and marshy lanes through which 
he would have to march, had been permitted 
without molestation to approach the village of 
Planchenoit, had about half past four o'clock 
marshalled his corps of 30,000 men and attacked 
the two divisions of the Count de Lobau. The 
affair went on with varying success. The village 
was taken and retaken. Both sides fought ob- 
stinately. The Emperor was obliged to reinforce 
Lobau from time to time from the Young Guard, 
Finally, about half past six, the Prussians seemed 
to be definitely driven back; and though the 
troops which had been used against them could 
not, of course, be withdrawn for service against 
the English, still the pressure on the right flank 
and rear of the French army was for the time 
being, at any rate, relieved. 

In this state of affairs. Napoleon determined 
to make one more effort to drive the English 
from the plateau. He still had left just one half 
of the infantry of the Guard, twelve battalions, 
say 6,000 men. The remaining twelve battal- 
ions had been sent to reinforce Lobau against 
the Prussians. Orders were sent throughout the 
whole line to redouble the fire of the artillery, 
and that the troops of the first and second 
corps should take part in this general assault on 
the depleted and, as Napoleon supposed, demor- 
alized line of Wellington's motley army. 

Before this attack could be organized, how- 


ever, it was evident that Prussian troops had 
joined the English left. The extreme right of 
the first corps was driven in. Ziethen's corps 
had in fact arrived. About the same time, also. 
Billow was reinforced by the leading division of 
the corps of Pirch. Nothing was heard or seen 
of Grouchy and the two corps that were with 
him. The position of the army thus became, in 
a moment, critical in the extreme. The French 
were now outnumbered by at least 50,000 men. 
It was half past seven o'clock ; dusk was coming 
on. There was, however, still time enough, and 
there were still troops and guns enough to main- 
tain the right flank of the army against the 
Prussian attack, which was the real danger, if 
Napoleon had been wilKng to accept the situa- 
tion, to cease taking the offensive, and to dispose 
his batteries, supported by his reserves, in an at- 
titude of defence. The fii'st and second corps 
could now be retired in good order behind the 
guns which faced the EngKsh army and com- 
manded the inten-ening ground. The Guard, 
which contained at least 12,000 excellent infan- 
try, and the sixth corps ought, properly posted, 
to have been able to hold the Charleroi road 
against the Prussians. There were still some 
thousands of cavalry, a good deal used up, to be 
sure, but preserving perfectly their organization, 
and capable of doing good service, if necessary. 
There was every reason to believe that the army 
could hold its own against the brief attack, 


which, at this late hour, was the only thing to 
be feared. All this would be changed if the 
proposed attack on the English line should be 
made and should be unsuccessful. In such an 
event, not only would the last reserves be sacri- 
ficed, but the army would be taken in flank when 
engaged in making a forward movement, and no 
well-organized plan of resistance could be formed 
or executed. 

Nevertheless, Napoleon ordered a portion of 
the Guard to attack the English right centre. 
He probably selected this point because it would 
be out of the way of the Prussian troops, which 
were now coming up on the English left. As 
we have seen, this attack was to be supported by 
the infantry of the first and second corps, but 
the cavalry do not appear to have been expected 
to support it. Nor was there any general ad- 
vance of the batteries ordered, as was generally 
done when Napoleon was making a final charge. 
It is not easy, in fact I do not know that it is 
possible, to ascertain precisely what happened in 
this last charge of the Imperial Guard. There 
seem to have been two bodies of them, — but 
this is not certain. Crossing the valley in their 
usual style, in column, in order to arrive as 
quickly as possible on the further side, and gal- 
lantly receiving the hot fire of artillery which 
was poured upon them, thay were staggered and 
brought to a halt by a heavy flank fire from the 
fifty-second and other regiments, which they 


were obliged to return. Endeavoring now also 
to deploy in front, the English reserves delivered, 
in line of battle,, a hot fire upon the head of the 
column. The deployment was arrested ; and the 
Guard was finally forced back to the foot of the 
slope. All this took some time ; and, in the in- 
terval, the right of the army had felt the full 
force of the attack of the Prussian corps of Zie- 
then. Everything was giving way. It needed 
but for the Guard to retire to convince the com- 
mon soldiers that the game was up. The men 
of d'Erlon's corps were the first to break, being 
taken unawares and in flank. In vain Napoleon 
disposes the few battalions of the Guard which 
remain to him in such a way as to form rallying 
points. It is too late. On the right the Prus- 
sians break in like a torrent, and on the left 
Wellington, seeing the Guard retire, discerns his 
opportunity with the sure eye of an able soldier, 
and orders his whole line to advance. His re- 
serve cavalry, — for he had with great judg- 
ment retained some fresh brigades, — panting 
for their share in this glorious day, bear down 
everything before them. The fifty-second and 
other veteran English regiments, which had also 
been husbanded as much as was possible during 
the fight, drive the isolated battalions of the 
Guard from place to place, until even these re- 
doubtable veterans are crushed by weight of 
numbers. The army is in full retreat. Napoleon 
himself, unwilUng for a long while to see the 







V\Mont St. Jean^ 





^^sssss^Ji ■ 


■ ■ ■ '^ 



■ ■ 


V *^^*'' 




.■...., m^,,, 

■ m\ 






La Have Sainte 



«M* •♦'♦* 






* * ^ ^ -iA^-jf 

i Alliance 




facts as they actually were, after staying in one 
of the squares of the Guard until his escape be- 
comes very problematical, is persuaded to quit 
his last field. The pressure of the Prussians on 
the right flank, resisted so long and so heroically 
by Lobau and the Young Guard, finally over- 
comes everything. There is nothing for the 
army but immediate flight. This is effected in 
great disorder, according to all the accounts. 
Nevertheless, not many prisoners were taken 
besides the wounded ; and a large part of the 
artillery was brought off and carried as far as 
Genappes. Here the retreating troops had to 
cross a little bridge over the Dyle. An effort 
was made to defend the place. But the Prus- 
sians were too quick in their pursuit, and most of 
the guns had to be abandoned. The army had 
lost at least 30,000 men, and, what was more, it 
had undoubtedly lost confidence and morale to a 
great degree. 

Such was the famous battle of Waterloo. It 
has become the synonym for utter defeat. Yet 
it was lost by the greatest captain of the age. 
The world has never ceased to wonder how such 
a terrible catastrophe overtook a soldier of such 
ability and experience. Volumes upon volumes 
have been written, explaining, criticising, defend- 
ing, attacking, Napoleon's management of this 
campaign. We have followed its course in suffi- 
cient detail to be able, I think^ to understand 
these criticisms. 


But before we approach them let us pause to 
admire the loyalty and steadfastness with which 
Wellington and Blucher stood by each other in 
the trying days of the 17th and 18th of June, 
1815. Wellington, coolly remaining at Quatre 
Bras until he should ascertain beyond a perad- 
venture what Blucher intended doing ; then trust- 
ing himself and his army to the issue of a bat- 
tle in which he knew he should at the outset be 
outnumbered and outfought by the army which, 
superior in numbers and morale. Napoleon was 
sure to bring against his miscellaneous command ; 
obliged to wait for the help which had been prom- 
ised him until nearly the close of that terrible 
series of assaults ; fighting with cool and resolute 
determination ; and, backed up by his own Eng- 
lish officers and men, successful in holding his 
unstable allies to the position he had chosen, re- 
ceives and deserves all honor. Blucher, defeated 
at the outset of the campaign ; disappointed in 
not obtaining the expected assistance of his ally, 
yet determined one way or another to carry out 
the original plan; unhesitatingly incurring the 
risk involved in abandoning direct communica- 
tion with his base of supplies ; inspiring his 
beaten troops with new ardor, and rewarded by 
a success beyond his hopes, commands the admi- 
ration of all who appreciate the real soldier's 

The decision of the two commanders, made on 
the morning of the 17th, to unite their forces 


at any risk, involving, as it evidently did, great 
danger, especially for the Duke's army, but yet 
justifiable as giving them their best chance of 
winning the game, has always received and de- 
served unqualified commendation. 

Still there is no justification for Wellington's 
leaving those 18,000 men at Tubize and Hal 
during that hard-fought day. 

Reviewing now, briefly, the facts : — 

Up to the night of the 16th, Napoleon had 
decidedly the advantage over his antagonists. 
Though the attack of his left wing under Ney 
at Quatre Bras had not met with the decided 
success which would have attended it, had not an 
unprecedented blunder prevented the cooperation 
of d'Erlon's corps in the action, yet the English 
general had been utterly unable to lend a single 
regiment to his ally, who had been defeated al- 
most under his eyes. Then the battle of Ligny, 
though it had not been a victory of the first class, 
yet had been a decided success. 

The unaccountable neglect of Napoleon and 
his staff to ascertain the direction in which the 
Prussians had retreated, followed, as it was, with 
a mistaken conjecture on his part as to that di- 
rection, and an unpardonable tardiness in taking 
any measures for pursuit, gravely imperilled the 
success of his plans. Had the facts been known, 
as they unquestionably might have been known 
and ought to have been known, by eight in the 
morning of the 17th, Napoleon would not have 


divided his anny, — he would have carried it all 
with him to the field of Waterloo ; and, suppos- 
ing everything else to have happened as it did, 
he would have been able to hold the crossings of 
the Lasne with 20,000 men, if necessary, while 
he threw the rest of his army, which would have 
numbered 85,000 men, upon Wellington's posi- 
tion. The result, no one can doubt, would have 
been a complete, an overwhelming victory for 

For this neglect in not ascertaining the di- 
rection of the Prussian retreat. Napoleon is, of 
course, directly or indirectly, to blame. Nor did 
he make up for this neglect by a sagacious div- 
ination of his adversary's intentions. On the 
contrary, he was here utterly at fault. In conse- 
quence of this double failure, his not ascertaining 
the truth and not guessing it, he divided his 
army. His third mistake was the delay in start- 
ing Grouchy. This was wholly his fault, and 
there is no excuse for it. It added greatly to 
the chances against success. 

But this has nothing to do with Grouchy's re* 
sponsibility for his own conduct. Had Marshal 
Grouchy, when, at two or three in the morning 
of the 18th, he ascertained the northerly direc- 
tion of the Prussian retreat, acted with common 
sense and promptitude, the battle of Waterloo 
might, and probably would, have been won by 
the Emperor. Had Grouchy been clear-headed 
enough to see that the all-important thing for 


him now was to get between the main army and 
the Prussians; had he mai^ched at daylight, as 
fast as he could go, for the bridge of Mousty, 
sending out his cavalry to ascertain what the 
enemy was doing, I cannot but think that he 
would have been able to cross the Dyle without 
serious molestation, and to have established com- 
munication with the main army by or soon after 
twelve o'clock. Had he done this, it is hard to 
see why, with such a reinforcement. Napoleon 
could not have been free to employ against Wel- 
lington's army the entire force which he had 
brought with him ; and I think that no one who 
has studied the events of the battle carefully, 
especi^-lly in the extremely valuable narrative of 
Sir James Shaw-Kennedy, who was in the best 
position to know the state of the Duke's army 
during the battle, can doubt that if the 16,000 
infantry, whom Napoleon was compelled to with- 
hold from the main attack on the Enghsh army 
and to use against the Prussians, had been em- 
ployed against Wellington's enfeebled British 
and demoralized foreign regiments about the 
time when La Haye Sainte was captured, the 
Duke would have been defeated. 

Before dismissing the subject of Marshal 
Grouchy's conduct, I must say a few words about 
the two despatches which Soult sent him during 
the day. Several writers have maintained that 
these despatches show that Napoleon himself 
shared in the mistake which Grouchy made in 


moving direct to Wavre^ and in not marching so 
as to place himself between the Prussians and 
the main army under the Emperor. 

In the first of these despatches^ which is dated 
on the field of battle^ and was written at ten 
o'clock in the morning, Soult acknowledges the 
receipt of Grouchy's despatch dated Gembloux 
at ten o'clock the previous evening. He tells 
Grouchy that the Emperor is about to attack the 
English army which has taken position at Water- 
loo. He then says : " Thus his majesty desires 
that you will direct your movements on Wavre, 
in order to approach us, to put yourself in the 
sphere of our operations, and keep up your com- 
munications with us ; pushing before you those 
troops^ of the Prussian army which have taken 
this direction and which may have stopped at 
Wavre, where you ought to arrive as soon as 

This first despatch was not received by Grouchy 
till four o'clock in the afternoon, when he was 
seriously engaged at Wavre. 

The second despatch was dated at one o'clock 
in the afternoon. It acknowledges the receipt 
of his despatch of two o'clock in the morning, 
announcing that he was going to Sart k Wal- 
hain. " Your intention, then," says Marshal 
Soult, " is to go to Corbaix and Wavre. This 
movement is conformable to his majesty's ar- 
rangements which have been communicated to 
you. Nevertheless, the Emperor orders me to 


tell you that you ought always to manoeuvre in 
our direction, and to seek to come near to our 
army, in order that you may join us before any 
corps can put itself between us. I do not indi- 
cate to you," Soult goes on to say, " the direc- 
tion you should take; it is for you to see the 
place where we are, to govern yourself accord- 
ingly, and to connect our communications, so as 
to be always prepared to fall upon any of the 
enemy's troops which may endeavor to annoy 
our right, and to destroy them. At this moment 
the battle is in progress on the line of Waterloo 
in front of the forest of Soignes. The enemy's 
centre is at Mont St. Jean; manoeuvre, there- 
fore, to join our right." A postscript informs 
Grouchy that Billow's corps is seen on the heights 
of St. Lambert. '^ So," concludes Soult, " lose 
not an instant in drawing near and joining us, 
in order to crush Bulow, whom you will take in 
the very act." 

This despatch did not reach Grouchy till after 
seven o'clock. 

Neither of these despatches was received in 
season to influence Marshal Grouchy's move- 
ments. We do not therefore have to change 
our opinion of the wisdom or folly of those move- 
ments by any view we may take of the contents 
of these despatches. We are simply considering 
the charge that Napoleon, as a matter of fact, 
although Grouchy did not at the time know it, 
approved of Grouchy's movement upon Wavre. 



That he did so approve is inferred from the 
expression in the first despatch, that Grouchy 
ought to arrive at Wavre as soon as possible, and 
from the statement in the second, that Grouchy's 
movement upon Corbaix and Wavre is conform- 
able to the Emperor's intentions. 

But these critics leave out of sight entirely 
the main body of both despatches. It is true 
that, in the first despatch, Grouchy is ordered 
" to direct his movements on Wavye ; " but why ? 
" So as to approach us ; to put yourself in the 
sphere of our operations, and keep up communi- 
cations with us," to use the language of the de- 
spatch. It is a necessary implication from this 
language that if, owing to the occupation of 
Wavre by the Prussians, the movement pre- 
scribed would fail to bring Grouchy within the 
sphere of operations of the main army, it was for 
Grouchy, as an independent commander, to un- 
dertake some other movement. You must re- 
member that Grouchy had, in his letter of the 
night before, the receipt of which is acknowl» 
edged by Soult in this first despatch, stated hi^ 
intention of marching either in the direction of 
Wavre or in that of Perwez, according as his in- 
formation might show the direction of the Prus* 
sian retreat. To move in the direction of Per- 
wez was to separate himself from Napoleon ; to 
move in the direction of Wavre was to approach 
Napoleon. Hence Soult practically says this: 
"Your taking the Wavre direction instead of 


the Perwez direction is all right ; do so, by all 
means; direct your movements on Wavre; but 
remember that the object of your so doing is in 
order that you may approach us, that you may 
put yourself in the sphere of our operations, and 
keep up your communications with us." 

Let any one now take the map and put him- 
self in the position of the writer of this despatch 
on the Brussels turnpike, and he will see that 
the object of the movement prescribed, namely, 
Grouchy's coming nearer to the main army, could 
not be attained, if the Prussians were at Wavre 
and disposed to make a stand there, unless 
Grouchy should operate somewhere between the 
main army and Wavre. No doubt the despatch 
might have been written more to the point ; but 
when it was written. Napoleon of course could 
not know the exact whereabouts of the Prussians. 
That they had gone from Ligny north towards 
Wavre he had ascertained from his own observa- 
tion, as well as learned from Grouchy's letter of 
the evening before. But that was all he knew. 
He accordingly tells Grouchy to take the direc- 
tion of Wavre so as to approach him, but he relies 
on Grouchy's more exact knowledge of the po- 
sition of the Prussians to take the best course 
under the circumstances, to carry out the inten- 
tion and object of the order, which was that 
Grouchy should approach the main army. 

The question for Grouchy to consider, had 
lie gcQl the order in season, would have been, 


whether, the Prussians being in force at Wavre, 
as he had ascertained was the fact, in order to 
obey the order, he would not have to cross the 
river, and to operate on Wavre on the west 
bank. He certainly could not have carried out 
the direction, so expUcit, so emphatic, so reiter- 
ated, of approaching the main army and putting 
himself within the sphere of its operations, with- 
out so doing. 

The second order contains such precise direc- 
tions to join the main army that its meaning 
can hardly be mistaken. But the approval of 
Grouchy's expressed intention to go to Sart It 
Walhain, and thence to Corbaix and Wavre, 
it is not perfectly easy to explain. Probably 
Soult supposed that that was the best route for 
Grouchy to take to come near the main army. 
That Grouchy, instead of approaching the main 
army, should go through Corbaix to Wavre, to 
attack a Prussian force posted there, is a course 
which it probably never occurred to Soult that 
Grouchy would adopt. 

The remaining incidents of the campaign need 
not detain us long. Grouchy, who finally suc- 
ceeded in driving the Prussian corps of Thiel- 
mann from Wavre, heard the next morning of 
the defeat of the Emperor, and by skilful man- 
agement effected his retreat, finally joining the , 
wreck of the main army. 

Napoleon left at once for Paris, leaving Soult 
in command. He doubtless felt that his reign 


was over. He had chosen^ as I said in my last 
lecture, to give to this war the character of an 
experiment, instead of the character of a seri- 
ous and determined struggle, and now the ex- 
periment had failed. Of course, he may have 
thought that all that France was willing to 
attempt at that time was one brief campaign, 
that she would not support him in a costly and 
bloody war carried on in her own territory. But 
whether it was with this idea that he risked the 
Belgian campaign, or whether it was that he 
thought that he saw in the position of the Eng^ 
lish and Prussian armies a good opportunity for 
one of his crushing strokes, we do not know. 
All we know is that the whole struggle seemed 
to turn in great measure on the success of this 
one operation. 

He found at once, on arriving in Paris, that he 
could not count on any support by the new legis- 
lature. The constitutional party were much more 
anxious to try their experiments than to defend 
their country. The people probably would have 
stood by him, although the apparently rash inva- 
sion of Belgium revived memories of other risks 
taken and other armies lost. By beginning the 
war by a brilliant offensive operation which to- 
tally failed, Napoleon had lost not only prestige, 
but moral support. Had such a defeat occurred 
to him when fighting on the soil of France, it 
would have intensified the patriotism of the peo- 
ple. As it was, it was impossible not to see in 


the campaign of Waterloo the old and familiar 
characteristics of Marengo and Aspern, so en- 
tirely at variance with the sober and resolute 
attitude with which a nation encompassed by its 
foes determines to fight to the last rather than 
surrender its independence. 

It is but just to Napoleon to admit that he 
frankly accepted the situation. He saw that 
although he could, by his still great influence 
among the people and his control over the army, 
prolong the war indefinitely, there was no rea- 
sonable chance of ultimate success. It was no 
part of his plan to engage France in a bloody 
and purposeless struggle. He was, very likely, 
disappointed not to see the representatives of the 
nation rally around him, press upon him ofiPers 
of help, and urge him again to take the field. 
But when he found that people generally had 
made up their minds that it was useless to con- 
tinue the contest, he allowed no egotism or vain 
confidence to obscure his perception of the duty 
of the hour. That duty was to give France im- 
mediate peace. He accordingly abdicated. A 
provisional government was estabUshed, which 
tried to avoid the necessity of a second restora- 
tion of the Bourbons. But the liberal members 
of Parliament who were engaged in this hopeful 
project soon found that Wellington and Blu- 
cher, now that Napoleon was gone, were not dis- 
posed to have anything to do with them, or to 
listen to any proposals of this nature. Paris^ 


where the army had been concentrated under 
Marshal Davout, was surrendered by a conven- 
tion dated the 3d of July, and the army retired 
behind the Loire. Before long, the whole matter 
was settled. On the 8th of July Louis XVIII. 
resumed his throne; and on the 15th of July 
Napoleon surrendered himself to the British 
government on board of the man-of-war Beller- 

I am not disposed to blame the British min- 
istry for exiling their illustrious prisoner to St. 
Helena. It certainly would not have been easy 
to suggest any other disposition of the fallen 
Emperor. The situation was one of those for 
which there are no precedents and no laws. Na- 
poleon was in the prime of life. He was a man 
of inextinguishable energy. He still had, with- 
out any possibility of doubt, a great hold on the 
people of France. Had he been allowed to re- 
tain his throne in 1814, as he ought to have 
been, the question of his exile would never have 
arisen. But the allies, having most unwarrant- 
ably taken upon themselves to force upon France 
a government other than that of the man she 
preferred, were obliged, when fliey had succeeded 
in their object, to dispose of Napoleon. And 
there was really nothing else to do with him 
than to consign him to some distant spot from 
which he would be unable to escape. For this 
purpose St. Helena was no doubt as good as any 
other island. 


Napoleon's life at St. Helena is not an agree- 
able study. No man not a philosopher, and a 
philosopher too of the most placid and amiable 
disposition, could possibly have undergone such 
a sudden and tremendous change in his sur- 
roundings and manner of life without showing 
its bad effects in an irritability, moroseness, de- 
spondency, never seen before. In Napoleon all 
these traits were developed to a greater or less 
extent, for he was by no means a philosopher. 
Yet he made many fast friends at Longwood. 
Those about him became devotedly attached to 
him. He numbered among his admirers not a 
few of the good people among the English gar- 
rison and residents. He resolutelv and with a 
laudable industry undertook writing commenta- 
ries on his own wars. In Gourgaud and Mon- 
tholon he found most intelligent secretaries ; in 
Las Casas he had a valued and wise friend ; with 
the Bertrands his intercourse was most familiar 
and intimate. There is after all much in his St. 
Helena life that it is pleasant to look at. 

His treatment by the English government 
would have been well enough, had it not begun 
with the exasperating and gratuitous humilia- 
tion of denying him his proper title of Emperor.^ 
For this unnecessary and indefensible course no 
apology, even, can be made. Except in this re- 
spect. Napoleon's treatment by the English was 
that accorded to a prisoner of war, who was al* 

^ See Appendix IX. 


lowed a good degree of liberty. The expenses 
of his maintenance and that of his friends were 
borne by the EngUsh government, and while no 
extravagance was permitted, there was no par- 
simony shown. As a rule, the English officers 
treated the prisoner with courtesy and respect. 
I do not know how it may have been with Sir 
Hudson Lowe ; I have never thought it worth 
my while to get at the facts of that disagreeable 
and interminable controversy. There was prob- 
ably fault on both sides. 

Fortunately for the world, the sayings and 
writings of Napoleon at St. Helena have been in 
great part preserved. The narratives of his cam- 
paigns are always lucid, forcible, and most inter^ 
esting. As for the mistakes that are to be found 
in them, and they are many, I am well aware 
that it is the fashion to call them wilful perver- 
sions of the truth. But when we take into ac- 
count the innumerable multitude of facts which 
these narratives comprise, and the confessed in- 
ability of Napoleon at St. Helena to refresh and 
correct his memory by official and other papers 
and by the recollections of his officers, the charge 
of mendacity has precious little to rest upon. 
Those of us who have ever made a study of any 
of our own campaigns, who have endeavored to 
reconcile the conflicting statements of living ac- 
tors and the opposing narratives of official re- 
ports, will be much more inclined to marvel at 
the accuracy of Napoleon's narratives than to 


suspect him of wilful omissions or misstatements. 
Assuredly, never were accounts so generally cor- 
rect composed under such serious disadvantages. 
But the idea of going to such narratives as these, 
which do not profess to be anything but the rec- 
ollections of one of the chief actors, which do 
not pretend to be carefully made up from official 
and other papers, with the expectation of finding 
minute accuracy in dates and numbers, is the 
idea either of a fool or an enemy. No man of 
sense would be so silly as to expect this accu- 
racy; and he who, on returning from such a 
quest, parades before the public his discovery of 
a mistake here or an error there, is a partisan so 
bigoted that it is not worth our wTiile to spend 
any powder on him. The St. Helena narratives 
give us in the main, undoubtedly, the key to 
Napoleon's plans, the views he entertained, the 
projects he contemplated. Whenever it is nec- 
essary to obtain strict accuracy in details, a histor- 
ical student will of course consult contemporary 
documents, instead of any man's recollections. 

After a few years of this uneventful and re- 
stricted life his health gave way, and on the 5th 
of May, 1821, he died. On his body were found 
several scars, showing that he had more than 
once concealed the fact of a slight wound or con- 
tusion from the knowledge of the army. It was, 
in truth, impossible that he should have entirely 
escaped the perils of so many battle-fields. 

He was buried with military honors, rendered 


to him by the British garrison of St. Helena. 
The spot selected for his grave was a quiet val- 
ley. The tomb itself was sheltered by a weeping 
willow. Shoots of this famous tree have since 
been planted throughout the world. 

Returning now to Europe. The second down- 
fall of Napoleon intensified the reaction against 
liberal ideas which had been for the preceding 
two years increasing in violence. In France, 
the Bourbons returned in a vindictive temper. 
The leading officers of the army were at once 
proceeded against. Soult and Grouchy saved 
themselves by flight. The convention of Paris 
of the 3d of July, the twelfth article of which 
provided that no one should be called to account 
for his conduct during the hundred days, was 
disregarded, and Ney, though claiming its pro- 
tection, was tried for treason and executed. It 
is not to the credit of Wellington that he did 
not insist upon the king's respecting the terms 
which had been granted by this convention, the 
consideration for which was the peaceable evacu- 
ation of the capital by a powerful French army. 
Far otherwise did General Grant act when it was 
proposed to try the Confederate officers for high 
treason. By his energetic remonstrances made 
to his government, he maintained the inviolabil- 
ity of the paroles he had granted. Wellington, 
on the other hand, pretended that it was not the 
intention of the article to restrain the French 
government from acting as it might deem fit. 



but only to restrain himself and Marshal Blticher 
from perpetrating any atrocities! Had such a 
construction been given to the convention at the 
time, it stands to reason that Davout and Ney 
and the rest would never have accepted it. They 
were all in the same boat, and as for the army, it 
would have stood by them to a man. Paris would 
have been defended to the last, and thousands 
t)f lives would have been sacrificed before it 
^oould have been taken. But the position taken 
by the Duke is obviously absurd. What danger 
was there that the English and Prussian generals 
would punish anybody for his conduct during the 
hundred days ? Clearly none whatever. The only 
danger apprehended — the danger to meet which 
the article in question was inserted — was that 
of retribution being inflicted by Louis XVIII. 
for the support given to Napoleon. The Duke's 
contention as to the import of the article ren- 
ders it absolutely nugatory. It is in fact very 
hard to believe Wellington sincere in the view 
which he puts forth. Certain it is that he left 
Ney to his fate, without making even an effort 
to save him. We are irresistibly impelled to re- 
call Nelson's action towards the Neapolitan pris- 
oners in 1798, when he set the capitulation aside, 
and had Caraccioli hanged from the yard-arm 
of an English frigate. But though Wellington 
would never have touched a hair of Ney's head 
himself, he nevertheless stood still and saw with 
complete indifference the articles of the conven- 


tion brutally violated. Had he chosen to inter- 
fere, a word from him would have suflBced. The 
conqueror of Waterloo could not have been ig- 
nored by the restored king, especially when in- 
sisting upon the proper effect being given to the 
terms of a military convention to which he had 
been one of the principal parties. There is no 
excuse for Wellington's course in this matter. 

On the continent generally there came after 
the battle of Waterloo a revival of all the old- 
fashioned notions about legitimacy and privilege. 
The normal development of liberal ideas in gov- 
ernment and legislation in France, Italy, and 
western Germany was forcibly checked. The 
influence of St Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, was 
for the time being dominant. In fact, it was 
not very long before the attitude of the three 
great reactionary powers became too pronounced 
even for the English Tories and the French Bour- 
bons. Except, however, in England and France, 
the reaction (or the " Liberation of Europe," as 
some good people prefer to call it) had full 
swing. The series of insurrections and atroci- 
ties in Spain, culminating in the armed interven- 
tion of France in 1823 to reseat the Bourbons 
on the throne ; the Austrian oppression in Lom- 
bardy and Venice; the terrible misgovernment 
of Naples ; the bloody suppression of the Polish 
struggle for independence, and of the Hungarian 
contest for ancient rights ; the Holy Alliance, — 
these and many other features of the period 


which succeeded the fall of Napoleon show what 
a retrogression had taken place. During all 
this time Napoleon's fame was steadily gaining. 
People in western Europe looked back upon the 
early years of the century, and saw that they had 
mistaken the transitory repression, the military 
dictatorship, incident to a state of waup, for sys- 
tematic tyranny, and had been deluded by the 
war-cries of 1813 into exchanging the fundamen- 
tally equal and liberal government of France and 
the Confederation for the fundamentally unequal 
and aristocratic government of Austria and Prus- 
sia, supported and backed up by the unblushing 
absolutism of the Russian Czar. They saw that 
in spite of his faults, in spite of his defects, Na- 
poleon had been the man of the time ; that he 
had understood the needs and the capacity of 
the people in his day and generation. It was in 
fact owing solely to the wise and liberal laws 
which he introduced at so much pains into the 
countries which had composed the French Em- 
pire, that the reaction of 1814 and 1815 did not 
work a permanent injury to the cause of Euro- 
pean liberty. 

The just credit due to Napoleon in this great 
struggle has always been withheld from him by 
liberal writers. They dwell on his seizure of 
the supreme power in France on the 18th of 
Brumaire, on his assumption of imperial dignity, 
on his despotic and military rule, on his well- 
known dislike of representative bodies. They 


fail to see that France at the beginning of this 
century was wholly unfit for a republican form of 
government, that her people at that time were, 
and necessarily must have been, utterly unable 
to govern themselves ; that the only thing that 
anybody could do for them was to secure to 
them in permanent institutions the benefit of the 
immense reforms and changes of the Revolution. 
This Napoleon did, and this was his great work. 
To defend France, thus reconstituted, against her 
foes, both foreign and domestic, it was necessary 
to consolidate the administrative functions of the 
government. But this was not to enslave her, 
but merely to postpone to a more peaceful time 
her entrance upon the long and difficult course 
which her people needed for their education in 
popular government. 

What, however, has been refused to Napoleon 
by liberal writers and historians has always been 
cheerfully given to him by the people. For, in 
spite of all the open hostility and the bitter and 
venomous hate of which Napoleon has been and 
still is the object, the mass of mankind have 
always recognized that he was in the main on 
the right side, and that in him the good cause 
of our common humanity had a powerful helper. 
There never was a country over which he ruled, 
either mediately or immediately, which he did 
not make a freer and happier country than it 
was when he took charge of it. Fighting as he 
wras, all his life long, coalition after coalition of 


the nations of legitimist Europe, he did not neg- 
lect to consolidate the newly gained liberties of 
his country in his Code. It is true that he could 
not in the turmoil and danger of constant war do 
much towards even a beginning of representative 
government. But the important thing was pre- 
cisely that which he did attend to. Whether all 
the adult males of a country, or only some of 
them, and if only some, which, shall exercise the 
franchise, are questions the answers to which may 
be exceedingly various, without much affecting 
people^s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit 
of happiness. Certain it is that France was de- 
prived by Napoleon of no liberties which her 
people had ever enjoyed, of no rights which 
they had ever exercised. Moreover, it was due 
to his strong arm and wise direction that the 
fundamental changes which had been brought 
about by the Revolution were not swept away by 
an earlier return of the Bourbons. 

I do not claim for Napoleon the praise due to 
a great philanthropist. The honor we pay to 
a cleai^headed, intelligent, enterprising business 
man, who, being largely interested in manufac- 
tures, let us say, undertakes the improvement of 
a factory-town, who cleans out the filthy dens 
where the operatives have been wont to lodge, 
who repairs the defective sewerage, who builds 
new and convenient houses, who introduces prac- 
tical reforms into every department of the life of 
that town, is certainly not the honor which we 


give to a John Howard or an Elizabeth Fry; 
yet it is a real tribute of honor nevertheless. If 
we see such a man opposed and thwarted at 
every turn by blind conservatism^ his efforts at 
enlightenment and sanitary reform and the eleva- 
tion of the poor people derided, and attributed 
to mere selfish greed of money, our sympathies 
and our good wishes are with that man. We 
see that he is on the right side in the universal 
contest of human life and work. Nor do we 
wonder greatly if we find in him the faults and 
defects that are peculiar to men of his stamp ; if 
we see with sorrow that in him enterprise some- 
times becomes rashness, and resolution verges 
upon obstinacy; that in his determination to 
carry through his reforms he is sometimes care- 
less of the rights of others and intolerant of 
their weakness and folly. Nay more, even if 
we find him so wilful and so rash that in the 
end his enterprises fail, and his narrow-minded 
opponents are able to triumph over him, not 
even then do we forget that, after all, this man 
has been the best friend and helper that that 
town ever had. Our sympathies and our judg- 
ment are still with him, and not with his bigoted 
though more fortunate enemies. 

^^ Render therefore^ unto Ccesar the things 
which are Ccesar^a.^^ While we do not hesitate 
to speak with proper severity of Napoleon's reck- 
less course in 1813 and 1814, of his obstinate 
adherence to a military solution of the difficulties 



which encompassed his Empire, of his indiffer- 
ence as a soldier to the evils of war, of his f or- 
getf ulness as a soldier of his duties as a sover- 
eign, — while we recognize these defects and 
faults, let us be equally frank in acknowledging 
his great qualities, — his untiring industry, his 
devotion to the public service, his enlightened 
views of government and legislation, his human- 

I know that there is a short and easy way of 
disposing of this evidence. It is only necessary 
to believe that in all his labors he was impelled 
solely by selfish motives, and all his wise meas- 
ures, his laborious tasks, his consistent further- 
ance of himiane and liberal legislation, go for 
nothing in the minds of some people. But I 
cannot think that such a wholesale mode of dis- 
posing of a man^s life-work as throwing Ught on 
his character and motives, requires any serious 
refutation. People who accept such a theory as 
this have made up their minds, and no amount 
of^testimony can convince them. Undoubtedly, 
Napoleon, in common with us all, had his own 
interest and advancement in view all through his 
career. That goes without saying. But if he 
is to be found guilty of the charge of selfishness 
in the opprobrious sense of that word, his accus- 
ers should be able to point to some instances at 
least where he preferred his own pleasures or 
gains or fame to the public welfare. As for 
his pleasures or his gains, they, as is admitted 


never interfered with his public duties. And it 
would be a task well-nigh impracticable to point 
out how he could have preferred his own fame 
to the public good, since it was only in the suc- 
cessful conduct of public affairs that he could 
make his reputation. 

Other unfriendly critics have derived great 
comfort and support by comparing Napoleon 
with those distinguished public servants who, 
like Washington and Wellington, had their well 
defined duties to perform towards a recognized 
political superior, and performed those duties 
faithfully. But this is to commit the blunder of 
trying the head of a great concern, who is his 
own master, by the standard applicable to his 
clerk. The well-marked and intelligible round 
of duty prescribed to an inferior furnishes no 
criterion by which we can determine whether his 
superior fully recognizes his responsibility for 
the talents committed to his charge, and for the 
improvement of which he is accountable to no 
one on earth. 

The fact is, the character of Napoleon must 
to a certain extent be left undetermined. It is 
not probable, as it seems to me, that it was a 
strong or deep character ; that in him there ex- 
isted any very definite and solemn recognition of 
his responsibilities ; that his life was a struggle to 
come up to the requirements of an educated and 
vigilant conscience. Be it so. Nevertheless, it 
remains true, that his powers were always at the 


service of the public ; that his efforts as a whole 
were on the right side ; that he was the unspar- 
ing foe of tyranny and injustice ; and that he did 
more than any man of his time to relieve the 
masses of the people of Europe from the bur- 
dens which oppression and intolerance had laid 
upon them, and to open to them the prospects 
and hopes which under a liberal and enhghtened 
government give to life so much of its enjoy- 
ment and value. He must be classed among the 
friends and helpers of the race. 



ON napoleon's occasional SEVEBiriES. 

It is not inconsistent with the views here presented 
of the character of Napoleon, that we should find him 
occasionally resorting to measures of extreme severity. - 
Where it seemed to him to be necessary, in order to 
preserve his army, to suppress dangerous insurrections, 
or the like, he rarely hesitated to employ what seemed 
to him the most sure mode of accomplishing his object. 
It is in this way that we must account for the whole- 
sale execution of the prisoners at Jaffa, most of whom, 
having been recently released on parole, were found 
again in arms against the French. In a similar light 
we should regard the severities which accompanied the 
final extinction of the insurrections in La Vendue, and 
those which he recommended his brother Joseph to 
employ against the fierce and obstinate resistance of 
the Neapolitan lazzaroni. In this unhesitating em- 
ployment of force on occasions of this nature, Napo- 
leon much resembled Cromwell. 

But this sort of thing does not constitute a man a 
tyrant, or even a harsh ruler. The stability of socie- 
ty, the welfare of well-disposed citizens, the interests 
of progress and of liberal government even, may well, 
in times of turmoil and revolution, be more secure 

310 APPENDIX 11. 

when entrusted to the hands of such a man, than if 
committed to the charge of one less practical and less 



ON napoleon's hold on his soldiers. 

A FEW illustrations of the wonderful hold upon his 
troops that Napoleon possessed may be not without 
interest in this connection. Sir Sobert Wilson, who 
served in the Russian army in 1812, in his account of 
the retreat from Russia says : — 

*^The atmosphere seemed to be rarefied till it became 
quite crisp and brittle. 

"The enemy, abeady afflicted by hunger, fatigue, sick- 
ness, and wounds, were ill prepared for this new, though 
always certain calamity. From this time a state of feeling 
prevailed that denaturalized humanity — a general reckless- 
ness pervaded all — a callousness to every consideration but 
selfish momentary relief, with one honorable exception in 
favor of the French, who, when captive, could not be in- 
duced by any temptation, by any threats, by any privations, 
to cast reproach on their Emperor as the cause of their mis- 
fortunes and sufferings. It was ' the chance of war,' * un- 
avoidable difficulties,* and 'destiny,' but *not the fault of 

"The famished, dying of hunger, refused food rather 
than utter an injurious word against their chief to indulge 
and humor vindictive inquirers." ^ 

^ Narrative of Events during the Invasion of Russia by Napo- 
leon Bonaparte f and the Retreat of the French Army, 1812. By 
General Sir Robert Wilson, K. M. T. Second edition: London 
John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1860, pa&re 254. 


To the same effect I cite a touching story from 
rather an out of the way source : — 

^'The next morning, after breakfast" [Napoleon had 
fallen and the allied armies had entered France in 1814], 
''Dame Prieore, with another Sister, accompanied their 
gaests over the wards of the hospital [at Boulogne]. They 
stopped at the bedsides of some of the soldiers, many of 
whom were disabled from old wounds ; others, the survivors 
of the Russian campaign, were still suffering intensely from 
frost-bites and the amputation of their limbs. Most of them 
appeared miserably weak and dejected from the pain they 
had endured and all the hardships they had undergone. 
Mr. Sidney's daughter observed to one of them, 

" ' Are you not glad we now have peace ? You must be 
rejoiced to hear that Buonaparte, who had drawn you all 
from your homes and families, is safe out of the way at 

" * Madame,' replied a mere boy of a soldier, who had lost 
both his feet, ' de qui parlez vous ? de notre Empereur ? ' 

" ' What,' said the lady, * do you still call him so ? ' 

"'Certainly,' he replied; *we would all willingly die 
for him ! ' and at the top of his feeble voice, he suddenly 
shouted out, * Vive I'Empereur ! ' 

" All the rest in the ward, which was exclusively for sol- 
diers, joined at once in the same cry, and the effect became 
almost deafening, as those in the adjoining wards united 
with their comrades in the same hearty demonstration. It 
was even taken up by the soldiers occupying a higher story, 
and * Vive I'Empereur! ' resounded through the whole build- 
ing with wonderful energy by all who were capable of mak- 
ing themselves heard. The poor nuns ran away, stopping 
their ears, and saying, * Oh m^chants, m^chants enfans ! 
Stop your cries; this cannot be allowed.' At last the 
noise subsided, and quiet being restored, the good Sisters 
proceeded with their guests to other departments of the 
hospice." ^ 

* From A Hundred Years Ago ; or^ A Narrative of Events 


A little volume entitled, '^ Reminiscences of Army 
Life under Napoleon Bonaparte," by Adelbert J. Doisy 
De Villargennes, former vice-consul of Italy at Cin- 
cinnati (Cincinnati, Robert Clarke & Co., 1884), lias 
recently appeared, from which I make the following 
citation (pp. 12-18) : — 

^' After the battles of Eckmuhl and Batisbon, a magnifi- 
cent avenue leading to the latter city had been totally ruined 
by the passage of upwards of two hundred thousand men. 
The Emperor ordered it to be repaired, and a company of 
infantry was posted at each extremity, with the express 
command not to allow any one to enter it on horseback. 
Greneral Yandamme, as well known for his bravery as for the 
extreme rudeness of his manners, presented himself on his 
horse at the entrance of the avenue, and was proceeding 
further, when the sentry on duty, a raw young recruit, came 
forward and stated the orders he had received. ' Greneral 
Yandamme passes anywhere,' exclaimed Yandanmie ; ' get 
out of the way.' On the soldier's appearing to insist, the gen- 
eral gave him a blow of his whip across the face, cursing his 
impudence. The young lad, intimidated, was about to peld, 
when the captain who commanded at the post, and who, 
walking about, had witnessed the scene, rushed toward the 
sentry, snatched the musket violently out of his hands, and, 
running in front of tbe general, levelled the piece at him, 
exclaindng, ' General, if you advance one step more I will 
shoot you like a dog for daring to treat my sentry as yon 
have done.' Yandamme, seeing at once whom he had to 
deal with, thought it best to comply, and withdrew, mutter- 
ing a threat to revenge himself on the bold captain. 

"An opportunity soon presented itself. Greneral Yan- 
damme, being the temporary governor of Ratisbon, on vis- 
iting the different posts, recognized in the officer on duty at 

leading to the Marriage and Conversion to the Catholic Faith cf 
Mr, an/', Mrs. Marlow Sidney, of Cowper HdU, Northumberitf " 
London, 1877, 12mo. 


the main guard on the great sqnare of the city, the unlucky 
captain who had checkmated him at the avenue. The square 
was then swarming with lounging officers of all ranks. Yan- 
damme took no apparent notice of his adversary, but having 
fully recognized him, went away without addressing him a 
word. Soon, however, profiting by the vicinity of a small 
crooked street, such as are ahnost all streets in Batisbon, he 
suddenly reappeared before the post. The sentry immedi- 
ately called out the guard, according to regulations when 
the commanding genend presents himself. The captain 
instantly rushed out with the guard, but so sudden and un- 
expected had been the second visit of the general that a few 
minutes elapsed before the ranks were formed and arms 
presented. Meanwhile the general, standing motionless, had 
waited for this moment ; then, giving vent to his brutal dis- 
position, he assailed the unfortunate captain in the most 
opprobrious terms, telling him that he was fitter to drive a 
herd of hogs than to command soldiers, etc. By this time 
a crowd of officers had collected round the spot The cap- 
tain, during this painful scene, had sufficient control over^ 
himself to refrain from answering a single word. But, as 
soon as his post was relieved, he called on Marshal Oudinot, 
the commander of the staff, and, after relating the facts of 
the affair, demanded permission to challenge General Yan- 
damme. The marshal, in rather severe tones, refused the 
request. On this, the captain (his name was, I believe, 
Jollivet, 14th light infantry) did not hesitate a moment, but 
aware, as was all the army, how easy of access the Emperor 
was, he at once determined on having direct recourse to his 
majesty. He accordingly repaired to the pavilion occupied 
by Napoleon, demanded and obtained an immediate audi- 
ence, related in the fullest details both his interviews with 
General Yandamme, and concluded with a request for the 
same favor which he had vainly solicited from Oudinot. 
Napoleon, with his usual affability toward his inferiors, an- 
swered : ^ Sir, I sympathize with your feelings on this occa- 
sion ; but yon must feel that your demand is inadmissible. 


The general officers of the army are to be here to-morrow 
at twelve o'clock; come at the same hour. Meanwhile, I 
shall have strict inquiry made ; and if , as I do not doubt, 
your version of the affair is quite correct, I shall require a 
suitable apology from General Vandamme to you.' 

" Punctual to the hour, the captain attended the meeting ; 
and modestly, from the inferiority of his rank, remained be- 
hind the circle formed round the Emperor. The conversa- 
tion, as on such ceremonious occasions, was confined to triv- 
ial subjects, and the company seemed preparing to take 
their leave, when our bold captain, elbowing his way through 
marshals and generals, stepped into the centre of the circle, 
and fearlessly addressing the Emperor, said: *Sire, you 
vouchsafed to promise me you would demand from General 
Vandamme, here present, some apology for the undeserved 
insults which he offered me. I come here in consequence 
of this promise.' 

"Napoleon, without answering the captain, turned to 
Vandamme, saying: 'General, I have inquired into the 
facts of this disagreeable affair, and I find that you have 
most unwarrantably and outrageously insulted an officer who 
enjoys in his corps the highest character. You owe him a 
suitable apology, as public as your insult has been, and I 
insist on your making it here/ * Sire,' answered Vandamme, 
^I must regret having been carried away by passion in 
my addressing Captain Jollivet; but these gentlemen' — 
' That 's enough,' exclaimed the captain. ' I am satisfied- 
Sire, I owe you more than my life. I thank your majesty.' 
He could say no more ; emotion had stifled his voice ; he 
bowed and retired. I have not heard what his subsequent 
career may have been. 

"It frequently happened that sudden acclamations of 
* Vive TEmpereur ! ' stirred the humors of our bivouac fires. 
This often occurred from the enthusiasm of the soldiers at 
the recital of some trait in the life of their idolized chief. 
The first outpouring of such a feeling witnessed by me was 
occasioned by the animated account of the forgoing incident 

APPENDIX 11. 315 

hj a sergeant to a large concourse of soldiers. The strict 
sense of justice ; the generosity of Napoleon toward those 
who had served well, or toward the famihes of those who 
had fallen ; his paternal attention to those in hospitals ; his 
severe surveillance over the conduct of contractors for the 
supply of the troops ; the commandiug influence which he 
unaffectedly exerted over his most distinguished generals — 
all these aroused the enthusiasm of our soldiers at the mere 
recital of some agreeable trait in the acts of their idol." 

Nor can I omit the hearty and enthusiastic tribute 
from his German soldiers to Napoleon to be found in 
Nihlas MiiUer's "Liederbuch fiir die Veteranen der 
grossen Napoleonarmee von 1803 bis 1814." I quote 
from Kambaud's '^ L'AUemagne sous Napoleon ler," 
Paris, 1874, pp. 182, 183. 

<' ^ Le guerrier qui a suivi Napoleon sous tons les climats 
de I'univers,' s'^crie Tauteur dans sa preface, ^ le guerrier 
qui a combattu sous ses ordres en tant de royaumes, qui tant 
de fois a pris sa part de la gloire et du triomphe, qui a 
men^ cette vie tourment^e, pleine de privations, de souf- 
frances, de fatigues et de dangers mortels, ne pent pas, ne 
doit pas oublier son grand g^n^ral. Transfigure, il continue 
k illuminer nos heures de joie ; nous lui d^dions, ainsi qu'k 
nos victoires immortelles, de bienfaisantes f^tes comm^mo- 
ratives. Le veteran s'y rajeunit; il recherche ses com- 
pagnons d'armes, ses fideles camarades, pour jouir dans leur 
society de ces douces joies qui surgissent du sein du passe, 
comme la pierre pr^cieuse des mines de diamants. — Quel 
souverain pourrait prendre ombrage de voir une telle asso- 
ciation f^ter les anciennes victoires, jeter un regard ^mu sur 
les aigles bris^es de Leipzig et de Waterloo, laisser tomber 
une larme de douleur dans les flots de la B^r^sina ? " 

" Napoleon, sur le th^s^tre du monde, a ^te Timage clas- 
sique du heros ; mais il etait aussi le pere des soldats, le fort 
bouclier de Thonneur. — Le camp, la misere, le danger, la 
fatigue, il partageait tout en c|imacade ; il.partageait la faim 


on la mauTaise soupe et ga^rissait nos esprits raalades. — 
Qael Charlemagne, quel Otton, quel Alexandre, a fait aa- 
tont que lui ? Tout le monde les nomme grands ; mais lui 
est encore audessus d'enx. — Sous ses etendards yictorieux 
nous avons servi fideles, intrepides. Son nom ne pent nous 
rappeler que des sentiments, que des souyenirs, sans cesse 
noureaux d'h^roisme." 

I cannot close this appendix without quoting for my 
readers the touching poems of Heine and Yon Zedlitz. 
Heine's " Two Grenadiers " is particularly apropos of 
the subject we have been considering. I give it in 
the translation of the £ev. Dr. Fumess of Philadel* 


To France were travelling two grenadiers 
From prison in Russia returning ; 

And when tliey came to the German frontiersy 
They hung down their heads in mourning. 

There came the heart-breaking news to their 
That France was by fortune forsaken ; 

Scattered and slain were her brave grenadiers, 
And Napoleon, Napoleon, was taken. 

Then wept together those two grenadiers 
O'er their country's departed glory ; 
^ Woe 's me ! " said one, in the midst of his tears, 
"My old wound, how it bums at the story 1" 

The other said, " The end has come ; 

What avails any longer living ? 
Yet have I a wife and a child at home, 

For an absent father grieving. 

APPENDIX 11. 817 

" Who cares for wife ? Who cares for child ? 

Dearer thoughts in my bosom awaken; 
Go beg, wife and child, when with hanger wild^ 

For Napoleon, Napoleon, is taken. 

" Oh grant me, brother, my only prayer, 
When in death my eyes are closing, — 
Take me to France and bury me there. 
In France be my ashes reposing. 

^' This cross of the Legion of Honor bright 
Let lie, near my heart, upon me ; 
Give me my musket in my hand. 
And buckle my sabre on me. 

^' So will I lie, and arise no more, 
My watch like a sentinel keeping. 
Till I hear the cannon's thundering roar, 
And the squadrons aboTe me sweeping. 

^* Then the Emperor comes ! And his banners wave 
With their eagles o'er him bending ; 
And I will come forth, all in arms, from my grave, 
Napoleon, Napoleon, attending." 



At midnight from his grave 
The drummer woke and rose. 

And, beating loud the drum, 
Forth on his errand goes. 


Stirred by his fleshless arma. 
The dromstieks rise and fall ; 

He beats the loud retreat. 
Reveille and roU-calL 

So strangely rolls that dnmii 
So deep it echoes roond. 

Old soldiers in their graves 
To life start at the sound ; 

Both they in farthest North, 
Stiff in the ice that lay, 

And they who warm repose 
Beneath Italian clay ; 

Below the mud of Nile, 
And 'neath Arabian sand. 

Their burial place they quit, 
And soon to arms they stand* 

And at midnight from his grave^ 

The trumpeter arose. 
And, mounted on his horse, 

A loud, shrill blast he blows. 

On aiiy coursers then 

The cavalry are seen, 
Old squadrons, erst renowned, 

Gory and gashed, I ween. 

Beneath the casque, their skulls 
Smile grim, and proud their air. 

As in their bony hands 

Their long sharp swords they bare. 

And at midnight from his tomb 
The chief awoke and rose ; 


And, followed by his staff, 
With slow steps on he goes. 

A little hat he wears, 

A coat qaite plain has he, 
A little sword for arms 

At his left side hangs free. 

O'er the vast plain the moon 

A paly lustre threw ; 
The man with the little hat 

The troops goes to review. 

The ranks present their arms, 

Deep rolls the drum the while ; 
Recovering then, the troops 

Before the chief defile. 

Captains and generals round 

In circles formed appear ; 
The chief to the first a word 

Now whispered in his ear. 

The word goes round the ranks, 

Resounds along the line ; 
That word they give is, — France I 

The answer, — Saint H^ene ! 

'T is there, at midnight hour. 

The grand review they say 
Is by dead Csesar held. 

In the Champs Elys^s ! 





That the statement in the text is not an exagger- 
ated representation, as some might suppose, of the 
views of the influential classes in England, may be 
seen from a passage in a work of Mr. Herbert Spen- 
cer's, entitled " The Study of Sociology." (London : 
Henry S. King & Co., 1874, pp. 166 et seq.^ In 
his chapter on ^^ Subjective Difficulties-Emotional," 
we find all the accusations against Napoleon enumer- 
ated, accepted without an instant's hesitation, and 
dressed out in the most lurid colors. We are told 
(p. 157) that ^4t was natural, too, that, in addition 
to countless treacheries and breaches of faith in his 
dealings with foreign powers, such a man should play 
the traitor to his own nation by stamping out its newly 
gained free institutions and substituting his own mili- 
tary despotism. . . . Year after year he went on sacri- 
ficing by tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands 
the French people and the people of Europe at large, 
to gratify his lust of power and his hatred of oppo- 
nents. To feed his insatiable ambition and to crush 
those who resisted his efforts after universal dominion, 
he went on seizing the young men of France, forming 
army after army, that were destroyed in destroying 
like armies raised by neighboring nations. . . . And 
all this slaughter, all this suffering, all this devasta- 
tion, was gone through because one man had a rest- 
less desire to be despot over all men." 


It would be difficult to find a more striking exam- 
ple of the "great man theory of History," as Mr. 
Spencer himself in the second chapter of this very 
book calls it, than in this truly extraordinary passage. 
All the social, political and legal conditions which 
made the era of Napoleon an era of conflict, which 
made such a military career as his possible, are here 
utterly ignored. All the European powers are quietly 
assumed to be the inoffensive and peaceful victims of 
one brutal and ambitious soldier. As Mr. Spencer 
says in his second chapter (p. 33), in speaking of this 
" great man theory of History," " the interpretation of 
things thus given is so beautifully simple, seems so 
easy to comprehend. Providing you are content with 
conceptions that are out of focus, as most people's 
conceptions are, the solutions it yields appear quite 
satisfactory." No one could make a better criticism 
than this on Mr. Spencer's simple and forcible presen- 
tation of the domestic and foreign policy of Napoleon, 
which I have quoted above, and I am quite content to 
leave the matter here, without adding a word of my 




The Czar of Russia felt himself to be the representa- 
tive on the Continent of the old order of things. He 
had in this capacity unhesitatingly joined the coalitions. 
He had, to be sure, at last made peace with France at 



Tilsit, and had, in fact, entered into alliance with her. 
But the French alliance was detested by the Russian 
nobility, and Alexander himself had no heart in it. He 
had made it because he saw that nothing more could be 
attempted at that time against Napoleon, — the three 
Eastern powers being too much exhausted. Besides, he 
wanted to purchase Napoleon's permission to embark 
on a career of conquest. And he obtained it. Since 
the treaty he had attacked the Turks and had annexed 
Moldavia and Wallachia : he had attacked the Swedes 
and had annexed Finland. He now coveted Warsaw, 
and the surrounding territory, formerly Prussian Po- 
land, but now organized as the Grand Duchy of War- 
saw. It had greatly annoyed him to see the Duchy 
enlarged by the greater part of Austrian Galicia, as a 
^3sult of the Austrian war of 1809. He knew that 
Ozartoriski and other Polish patriots were looking for- 
ward to the entire reestablishment of Poland with the 
Aelp of France. This he cordially dreaded. The ef- 
fect of it would be to push the boundary of Russia 
back to the Dneiper, and to destroy the greater part 
of her influence in European affairs. At the same 
time, there was no special reason to suppose that a 
restoration of Poland was one of Napoleon's schemes. 
Napoleon, when questioned on the subject, always de- 
nied that he had any plan of the kind. 

Thus, in front of Alexander stood the Grand Duchy 
of Warsaw, composed of the Prussian and Austrian 
shares in the partitions, which might, perhaps, if af- 
fairs were skilfully managed, be annexed to Russia; 
or, on the other hand, if things went wrong, might 
form the nucleus to which might be added the much 
larger territory of Russian Poland. The Polish ques- 
tion occupied the chief place in Alexander's thoughts 
from the beginning of 1810 to the breaking out of the 


war wi& France. Various solutions occurred to him. 
Early in 1810 ^ he consulted Prince Czartoriski on the 
possibility of organizing Kussian Poland as a separate 
state, of which the Czar of Russia should be the head. 
But the Prince said that a half measure of this sort 
would utterly fail to satisfy the national feeling. 

In December, 1810,^ Alexander suggested to Czar,, 
toriski the union of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and 
the Russian provinces of Poland into a kingdom, hav-^ 
ing a regular government of its own, but of which 
the Czar should be the king. This, of course, meant 
war with Napoleon, for the Grand Duchy was a mem- 
ber of the Confederation of the Rhine. The scheme 
was, in effect, to annex forcibly the Grand Duchy to 
Russia, giving the Poles, however, what we now call 
home-rule. In his letter to the Count, Alexander 
desires him to ascertain the state of feeling in War- 
saw and throughout the Duchy by personal observa- 
tion. Appended to this letter is an estimate of the 
forces which the contending powers could bring into 
the field. 

Czartoriski ^ made his investigations, and reported 
to the Czar that the Poles would not think of such a 
proposition ; that they expected sooner or later to ob- 
tain their restoration at the hands of Napoleon. 

To this Alexander replied ^ in January, 1811, reiter- 
ating the feasibility of the scheme ; stating that he in- 
tended to offer Austria the Danubian principalities in 
exchange for Galicia, and should offer some compen- 
sation to the King of Saxony, who was the Grand 
Duke of Warsaw, if he took his side in the war. He 
also goes over his estimate of his available forces. 

1 Life and Times of Alexander /., Joyneville, vol. ii. pp. 96, 
3 Id. pp. 108 et $eq. • Id. p. 113. * Id. p. 114. 


The most important thing in this letter is the light 
it throws on l^e way in which the Czar regarded 
his relations to France. To attack Napoleon was a 
mere question of expediency. Alexander says: ^^It 
would be a mistake to be the aggressor in present 
circumstances, — and I shall not make that mistake. 
But everything changes if the Poles join me. Re- 
inforced by the 50,000 men I should owe to them, by 
the 50,000 Prussians who might, without risk, also 
join me, and by the moral revolution which would be 
the unfailing result in Europe, I might advance to the 
Oder without striking a blow." Further on he says : 
" mi lean be sure of the cooperation of the Poles 
I have decided not to begin the war with France^'* ^ 

Among the results of the war would be, he says, 
^^a complete revolution in the opinion of Europe" 
and ^^ deliverance from the yoke under which the Con- 
tinent languishes." 

Now observe. The Caotr does not pretend to have 
a casus belli of any kind. The Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw, which he proposes to annex, never belonged 
to Russia. But if he can settle the Polish question by 
uniting all the scattered portions of the ancient mon- 
archy under the rule of Russia, and can thereby also 
assail the Empire of Napoleon with a fair chance of 
success, and bring about the triumph of the legitimist 
side in this weary contest, — which is what he means 
by delivering the Continent from the yoke under 
which it languishes, — he will not hesitate to com- 
mence a war of aggression. 

^ The italics are mine. Id. p. 117. 





Marshal Marmont, in his valuable work entitled 
"The Spirit of Military Institutions," after speaking 
of the earlier successes of Na}>oleon, says : " In 1812, 
it depended upon his own will to give to the great bat- 
tle which he fought upon the Moskwa the character 
of his preceding victories. A simple flank movement 
would have permitted him to fight the Russian army 
with much greater advantages. But a decided taste 
for direct attacks already began to manifest itself in 
him, a taste for the pleasure of employing force, and 
a kind of disdain for the concurrence of art and skil- 
ful combinations." (Am. Ed., Part III., chapter 
vii., page 186.) 

I doubt this statement. In the first place Napoleon 
did organize a movement, under Davout and Ponia- 
towski, having for its object to turn the Russian left. 
It is true the movement was only measurably success- 
ful, but that was not the fault of the plan. Very pos- 
sibly the Russian army might by some other move- 
ment have been compelled to evacuate their position 
at Borodino. But it was the policy of the French at 
that stage of the campaign to fight a great battle, not 
to compel a further retreat of the Russians into the 
interior. As regards Napoleon's alleged taste for di- 
rect attacks, the employment of main force, and so 
forth, it should be recollected that at this period of 
his career his adversaries did not make the blunders, 
either strategical or tactical, which were so common in 


his earlier experience. Battles like Wagram and 
Borodino are not to be classed with Austerlitz and 
Friedland. Besides, there was never any falling off 
in Napoleon's quickness in availing himself of any 
mistake of his enemy's: witness, for instance, Dresden 
and Ligny. 



Chambbay, in his ^^Campagne de Bnssie," in a 
table annexed to the second volume, gives the follow- 
ing figures, which are taken, Chambray says, from the 
returns sent to the war department of the strength of 
each corps at the moment of its passage into the terri- 
tory of Russia. 

Field and Staff 3,983 

First Corps, Davout 72,051 

Second Corps, Oudinot 37,139 

Third Corps, Ney 39,342 

Fourth Corps, Eugene 44,798 

Fifth Corps, Poniatowski .... 36,311 

Sixth Corps, St. Cyr 25,134 

Seventh Corps, Reynier .... 17,189 

Eighth Corps Junot, afterwards Yandamme . 17,935 

Ninth Corps, Victor, entered Russia in September 33,567 

Tenth Corps, Macdonald .... 32,497 

Schwartzenberg 34,148 

Ghiard 47,373 

Forward . • • • . 441,467 


Brought over . . . 441,467 
Cayalry : — 

Nansouty . . 12,077 

Montbrun . . . 10,436 
Grouchy . . . 9,676 
Latour Maubourg 7,994 40,183 481,660 * 

Durutte's Division entered Russia in Novem- 
ber 13,692 

Loison's Division entered Russia in Novem- 
ber 13,290 

Total as from official returns . . • 608,632 
Chambray adds to this total an estimate of troops 
who, during the campaign, rejoined their 

regiments 80,000 

And for men connected with the grand 
parks of artillery, engineer corps, etc., an 
estimate of 21,626 

610,058 ^ 

I think that a deduction of probably ten per cent. 

should be made from the official total of 608,632 
Say 60,863 

Thus reducing the official total to . . . 467,679 

1 From this total of . . . 481,660 
Deduct the Field and Staff 3,983 477,667 

Deduct also an estimate of 10 per cent, for 

excess of estimate .... 47,766 

Leaving 429,901 

Which is slightly below the Due de Fezensac's total of 447,000 
De Fezensac adds for recruits and fresh troops . 53,000 

Making a total of 500,000 

See Fezensac's Journal de la Campagne de Russie^ p. 4, note ; 
p. 191. 

> To this Chambray adds 37,100 for those absent from the 
ranks, — an estimate to get at what the French call Veffeddf^ 
which is the total, present and absent. His total, therefore, 
reaches the enormous figure of .... 647,158 


Brought over 467,679 

And as for the estimates, I should think the first 

altogether too large, probably by one half; 

let us then add for recruits . . • 40,000 
And for extrarduty men, as above . . . 21,526 

Making a total of 519,205 

In Bourtourlin's Atlas, Tableau No. 1, he puts the 
total allied force at the opening of the campaign at 
626,800 men, but this includes the whole corps of Au- 
gereau, of 60,000 men, most of which did not enter 
Russia. In Tableau No. 20 he puts the actual num- 
ber that entered Russia during the whole campaign at 
664,000 men. 

The Russian estimate of the fate of the armies of 
the French and their allies does not differ materially 
from this figure. In Bourtourlin's History, voL ii., 
pp. 446, 446, it is thus given : — 

Killed in battle or died of wounds . . . 125,000 
Died of disease, cold, exhaustion, etc. • . 132,000 

Taken prisoners 193,000 

Returned . . . ... . . 80,000 

Total 530,000 

General Gourgaud in his Examen Critique of the 
work of the Count de S^gur, Book XII., chapter iv., 
gives a higher estimate of those who returned, viz : — 

Troops which repassed the Niemen to Eowno on 

the 15th of December .... 36,000 

Tenth Corps, Macdonald . . . . 30,000 

Fifth Corps, Poniatowski .... 20,000 

Seventh Corps, Reynier .... 15,000 

Schwartzenberg's 26,0 00 

Total 127,000 

I think his estimate of the strength of the Fifth 
Corps is very wide of the mark. It should be ob- 


served that the troops of Maodonald, Beynier and 
Schwartzenberg had Dot penetrated far into the coun- 

Charras, in his ^^ Guerre de 1813,'' chapter i., gives 
the numbers as follows : — 

P. 6. Repassed the Niemen— 85,000 or 40,000 men, 
of whom about 26,000 or 27,000 were in good condi- 

p. 9-18 — Macdonald — 22,000 to 25,000 men, 
Schwartzenberg, Reynier, etc., 45,000 to 50,000 men. 

Taking the smaller %ure8, we have : — 

Grand army, main column .... 36,000 

Macdonald 22,000 

Schwartzenberg 45,000 

Total 102,000 


I HATE related the history of this Bertrand order 
in an article published in the ^^ Atlantic Monthly " in 
June, 1881, entitled "Who Lost Waterloo?" It is 
certainly a very curious story. 

As to the effect to be given to this despatch in any 
critical estimate of the campaign, it seems to me that 
it cannot well be exaggerated. In it, the Emperor in 
effect says to Grouchy that, even although it looks 
now as if the Prussians had fallen back in the direc- 
tion of Namur, still it may be that they have not 
really done so at all, but that they are intending to 
unite with the English and fight a battle for the de- 


fence of Brussels. Yet, in face of this, Chesney^ says 
that this letter ^' serves to show two things ordy^ 
(1), that Napoleon was now uncertain of the line of 
Bliicher^s retreat, and (2) that he judged Gembloux 
a good point to move Grouchy on, in any case." 

Nor is Chesney the only English critic who seems 
to me to underestimate the importance of the warning 
contained in this despatch. Kennedy, Hooper, Ham- 
ley seem to me to be open to this criticism. Hamley, 
in fact, in his elaborate critique on the campaign in 
his " Operations of War," does not even allude to the 

In the first place, they all of them consider the de- 
spatch chiefly in reference to Napoleon's conduct of 
the campaign. Very likely they are right in holding 
that Napoleon's omissions and delays that morning of 
the 17th are not redeemed even by the sagacity which 
warned Grouchy of a possible union of the Prussian 
army with the English. But they do not stop here. 
They are so much impressed by the delays and the 
omissions that they entirely fail to do justice to the 
Emperor's sagacity in predicting the operation which 
actually was effected. In the second place, it is quite 
evident that they have not considered the Bertrand 
order with reference to Grouchy's conduct, which is a 
matter with which our praise or blame of Napoleon 
has, of course, nothing to do. Grouchy at Gembloux 
during the night of the 17th and 18th, in fact by three 
A. M. of the 18th, had ascertained that the Prussians 
had retreated on Wavre, in other words had' fallen 
back upon their allies. He had no specific instruo- 

^ Waterloo Lectures, A Study of the Campaign of 1816. By 
Colonel C)iarles C. Chesney, R. E. Third Edition. London: 
Longmans. 1874. P. 152. 

' The italics are mine. 


tions, nothing whatever to hamper him in any way. 
He had no orders to go to Wavre, or anywhere else. 
The only order which he had, warned him in so many 
words that the Prussians might perhaps be intending 
to imite with the English to try the fate of another 
battle for the defence of Brussels. Hq had with him 
two fine corps, between 33,000 and 34,000 men. That 
under these circumstances he should have marched 
towards the main army under the Emperor, should 
have drawn near to it, so that he might have received 
his orders directly from the Emperor, I submit is too 
plain for argument. " '"' 

To judge fairly of the question, whether Marshal 
Grouchy 's movements were what they should have been 
or not, one must consider it by itself, and not allow 
one's mind to be confused by dwelling on any previous 
shortcomings of Napoleon. Stated briefly, then, the 
case is this : Early on the morning of the 18th of 
June, Grouchy at Gembloux knows that Napoleon is 
on the Brussels turnpike expecting to fight the Duke, 
and that Bliicher has retired on Wavre so as to sup- 
port the Duke. The danger to Napoleon is therefore 
evident, and pressing. To manoeuvre in his direction, 
keeping the Prussians always on his right, using the 
large force of cavalry which he had with him to secure 
the roads and bridges, and, above all, to start at day- 
break and to lose no time, was clearly the dictate of 
common sense. 

Whether, if he had done this, he would have inter- 
posed his force between the Emperor's army and the 
Prussians, may perhaps admit of some difference of 
opinion. I have not time to discuss the question here. 
I have given my own opinion in the text. Certain it 
is, that to stop Grouchy in such a march would have 
necessitated such a complete change in the Prussian 


programme for the day that the chance of Napoleon's 
beating the Duke before any considerable force of the 
Prussians could arrive, would have been very greatly 
increased, to say the least of it. Probably all will 
allow that the catastrophe would have been avoided. 
I am not now speaking of the effect which would have 
been produced by Grouchy's marching at noon, when 
he heard the guns, from Sart ^ Walhain : that is a 
very different question. I am speaking of Grouchy's 
marching at daybreak from Gembloux. 

A criticism on Napoleon which is made by the dis- 
tinguished English general. Sir James Shaw-Kennedy, 
which is adopted by Chesney in his Lectures, and is 
there said to have been first suggested by Clausewitz, 
seems to require a brief consideration. I quote from 
General Kennedy's work : — 

^'Tbe idea that Grouchy was entirely wrong, that the 
fault was entirely his, that his bungling or treason caused 
the loss of the action, cannot be admitted as a portion of an- 
thentic history : it has soothed French susceptibilities, and 
has been employed to give a more favorable view of Napo- 
leon's combinations. In respect to the latter it utterly fails, 
which may be shown by the following view, which, so far as 
I know, has not hitherto been brought forward ; but which, 
when stated, must, as I conceive, be a self-evident proposi- 
tion. The allegation is, that, when at noon Grouchy heard 
such a cannonade as to indicate that a general action was in 
progress, he ought to have marched directly to the field of 
battle. Now, even admitting this to be true, it implies that 
Napoleon committed the same error in a far stronger and 
more inexcusable degree. If Grouchy's proper place was 
on the field of battle at Waterloo, then Napoleon should 
have sent for him at daylight on the morning of the 18th. 
when he saw the Anglo- Allied army in position, and deter- 
mined to attack it. Napoleon knew with positive certainty 
that a general action was taking place.: if, then, the princi 


pie was correct that Grouchy should take part in it, why did 
not Napoleon order him to march upon Planchenoit ? Na- 
poleon had positive and certain knowledge of the existence 
of a general action, and was free to give to Grouchy what 
orders he chose : Grouchy, on the contrary, only could guess 
as to the existence of a general action, and, in acting upon 
a probable supposition, would have done so contrary to his 
instructions. Now Napoleon not only failed to send any 
order to Grouchy to march upon Waterloo, when he knew 
positively that he was about to engage in a general action 
with the Anglo-Allied army, but even when the action 
was actually commencing, he caused Soult to write to him, 
approving of his marching upon Wavre. If then Grouchy 
violated a principle in not marching to the field of battle. 
Napoleon violated the same principle, and in an aggravate^ 
degree, by not ordering his march upon Waterloo early oi^ 
the morning of the 18th, and in going the length of approvr 
ing his march upon Wavre when the battle of Waterloo 
was actually commencing." ^ 

The answer to this Is very simple. " Early on the 
morning of the 18th " Napoleon did not know where 
the Prussians were, but supposed that Grouchy wai^ 
looking out for them. Why then should he send for 
him? Napoleon did not need Grouchy to help hin^ 
fight the Duke : he knew perfectly well what sort of %n 
army the Duke had, and how small a force of Englisl^ 
troops the Duke had with him. The Emperor would 
beyond a reasonable doubt have beaten that army had 
he been able to employ his whole force against it^ 
Nor did the Duke himself ever dispute ttw view. 
Everybody knows that Wellington took up his posi^ 
tion relying on the assurance of Bliicher that he should 
be largely reinforced. If Grouchy ought to have 

1 Notes on (he Battle of Waterloo, By the late General Sip 
Sir James Shaw-Kennedy, K. C. B. London : John Murray. 
1865. Pp. 169-161. 


marclied to the fieid of Waterloo, as indeed he ought, 
it was not because he might suppose his master to be 
in peril from the army under Wellington, but because 
he would fear that that army would be strengthened 
by a large part of the force luider Bliicher. Had 
Grouchy been where he should have been, between 
Napoleon and the Prussians, he would never have 
thought of marching to the field of Waterloo; for not 
only would his presence there not be needed, but only 
by remaining where he was would he be fulfilling his 
appointed r81e of preventing the Prussians from taking 
a hand in that fray. For Napoleon, then, to have sent 
for Grouchy early on the morning of the 18th to help 
him fight Wellington, when, for anything that Napo- 
leon knew, Grouchy might be ably and skilfully play- 
ing his part of keeping the Prussians off, would have 
been unwise indeed. 

As for Soult's order, '' approving Grouchy's march 
upon Wavre, when the battle of Waterloo was actually 
commencing," I have fully explained in the text that 
it was written when it was evident to Napoleon that 
the Prussians were approaching, and that it was, in 
effect, an order to Grouchy to join the main army at 

In conclusion, let me say a word on the very unfor- 
tunate effect which the political animus of Charras, 
Quinet, and other writers had on their discussions of 
the subject. These men were not historians at all, 
properly so called. They wrote for a present political 
purpose. They were the enemies of the Second French 
Empire, and they were, in these books of theirs, try- 
ing to break down the prestige of the First Napoleon, 
which, as they supposed, had much to do with the 
establishment and success of the Second Empire. 
They were endeavoring to destroy " la legende Nape- 


l^onienne." It is true that we owe much to their in- 
defatigable researches, but we must always remember 
that their object was not the truth of history, but such 
a version of this campaign as could be made to tell 
against the Imperialist side in the political controver- 
sies of their own day and generation. The worst of 
it is, that their captious, suspicious, and unfair spirit 
has to a certain extent infected certain English wri- 
ters. In fact Captain Sibome, whose exhaustive work 
on the campaign was written in 1844, in the days of 
Louis Philippe, is beyond question the most impartial 
and reasonable English writer on the subject. 

A good illustration of this disposition towards fault- 
finding may be found in Chesney's Waterloo Lectures, 
(8d ed. pp. 118, 119,) where he is accusing Napoleon 
of negligence in his management of the left wing of 
the army : — 

" Did he direct that at daylight (of the 16th) d'Erlon 
should close up his long column on ReiUe's rear at Gosselies, 
and be ready for the marching order forward? Were 
there any signs of pressure or hurry in Ney's morning in- 
structions, or any notion then of a great pitched battle 
which that marshal was by a flank movement to win for his 
master ? We are enabled to answer all these qaestions in 
the direct negative from Napoleon's own authority. The 
only letter from the latter to Ney, written before the five 
orders already mentioned [the orders given on the 16th, 
beginning with the one which assigned him to the command 
of the First and Second Corps], was merely a formal one, 
assigning Kellerman's cavalry to the marshal, and inquiring 
if d'Erlon had completed his movement of the day before 
and * what are the exact positions of his corps and Reille's.' 
Not a word of any urgency, or of preparing to advance by 
closing d'Erlon's divisions on to the ehoMssee at Gosselies." 

Why Colonel Chesney should have approached the 


subject, aa he evidently did, with the notion that he 
wocdd find Napoleon's management of the campaign 
characterized by the carelessness which he attributes 
to him, I will not pause to inquire. But the fact is, 
that the movement which Chesney charges the Em- 
peror with having omitted to order, ^^ that at daylight 
[of the 16th] d'Erlon should close up his long column 
on Beilie's rear at Gosselies, and be ready for the 
marching order forward," was actually prescribed, — 
only, instead of its being an order to dose up and 
reach Gosselies at daylight of the 16th, the order was 
sent at three P. m. of the 15th, and was to be executed 
at once. The order is to be found in the very valu- 
able work published by the son-of Marshal Ney, and 
entitled '^ Documents in^dits sur la Campagne de 
1815." (Paris, 1840, p. 25.) It reads as follows : — 

^< A M. LE COMTE d'EkLON. 

Extrait da registre da major general. 

En avant de Chableboi^ 
A 3 heurea du saivy 15 Jtem, 1815. 
Monsieur le comte d'Erlon, TEmpereur ordonne a M. le 
comte Reille de marcher sur Grosselies, et d'y attaquer un 
corps ennemi qui paraissait s'y arrSter. Uintention de 
rempereur est qae vous marchiez aussi sur Gosselies, pour 
appuyer le comte Reille et le seconder dans ses operations." 

This order was not sent to Ney, for he only joined 
the army about five o'clock in the afternoon on the 
15th, but it was sent to the Count d'Erlon, and it 
completely relieves Napoleon of the charges which 
Chesney so vehemently urges. Colonel Chesney, be- 
yond a question, intended to be impartial in his treat- 
ment of the conduct of all the actors in this campaign, 
but he seems somehow to have been infected with the 
then prevailing disposition to disparage the capacity 
of Napoleon. Napoleon, having sent orders to d'Erlon, 


on the afternoon of the 15th, to close up on Beille at 
Gosselies, and to support him in his attack on the 
enemy there, naturaUy enough inquires of Ney,^ the 
first thing in the morning of the 16th, if the First Corps 
has finished its movement, and what was the exact 
position of the two corps. There is no carelessness 
here, not a trace of it. Why Chesney should call this 
letter to Ney " merely a formal one " is not very clear, 
until we see that Chesney did not know what the or- 
ders of the afternoon before had been. 

The truth is, there has been altogether too much 
temper shown by most of the historians of this cam- 
paign. This is true of both sides, and is especially 
shown in dealing with the conduct of Napoleon. The 
best English writers now frankly admit Wellington's 
mistakes in not concentrating more promptly at Quatre 
Bras, and in leaving such a large force at Hal during 
the battle of Waterloo. It is generally conceded that 
it was unwise for Bldcher to risk a battle alone and 
unsupported. But it seems to be well-nigh impossible 
for one and the same writer to admit that both Napo- 
leon and Grouchy made mistakes ; to point out how 
Napoleon's carelessness in not ascertaining the direc- 
tion of the Prussian retreat after Ligny, his mistaken 
guess as to its direction, and his delay in sending out 
Grouchy, gravely imperilled the success of the cam- 
paign ; but that nevertheless he did foresee the possi- 
bility of the union of the allied armies, and warned 
Grouchy of it ; and that, had this warning been suf- 
ficiently heeded, the campaign might have had a very 
different termination. Let us hope, that, as time goes 
on, this impossibility will cease to exist, and that the 
historical spirit will fully supplant the controversial 

*^ Documents inSdits, pp. 26, 27. 




ON net's employment of the cavalry of the 


How Ney was permitted thus to engage troops not 
under his orders has never been satisfactorily ex- 
plained. But it was one of the natural results of Na- 
poleon's mode of fighting this battle, which was entirely 
different from his usual practice. By giving to Ney 
the general direction of the battle against the English 
army, it resulted that there were, so to speak, two gen- 
erals on the field, Ney and himself. That Ney on a 
detached operation should command two corps might 
well have been a judicious arrangement ; but that such 
an arrangement should be persisted in during a great 
battle where the Emperor was present in person, 
strikes one at 6rst as uncalled for and unwise. It is, 
however, undoubtedly, to be attributed to the necessity 
under which the Emperor labored of conducting also 
the other battle against the Prussians near Planche- 



It is curious and not a little amusing to see the per- 
sistency with which some English writers of to-day 


retain the petty prejudices of a former time. Dr. 
Edward A. Freeman, to whose historical researches in 
many fields the world is much indebted, evidently en- 
joys speaking of Napoleon by his family surname. In 
fact, he will not even allow his victim to decide for 
himself how that name ought to be spelled. In the 
" General Sketch of European History " (London : Mac- 
mUlan & Co., 1874; pp. 329 et seq.^^ Buonaparte (sic) 
is spoken of as "calling himself" Consul, Emperor of 
the French, and King of Italy. Whether he ever was 
the First Consul of France ; whether it is or is not 
correct to speak of him as Emperor of the French and 
King of Italy, are questions which do not seem in the 
least to trouble Dr. Freeman. To him, an English- 
man, this objectionable foreigner, having started in 
life as a private citizen possessing the family name of 
Buonaparte, Buonaparte he shall remain, so Dr. Free- 
man wills, no matter what may have been the world's 
recognition of the titles he assumed, or the posts he 
filled. I had at one time thought that this extraordi- 
nary refusal to give to the ruler of France the rank 
which was accorded to him by all the states of Conti- 
nental Europe might be accounted for by the fact 
that the English government never recognized Napo- 
leon the First as Emperor of the French. But this 
theory I find is untenable ; for when Dr. Freeman 
comes to speak of the Third Napoleon, whose title was 
not only recognized by England as by the other pow- 
ers, but who was the aUy of England in the Crimean 
war, was received at Windsor Castle and received the 
Queen at the Tuileries, he gives him no more decent 
treatment than he gave to his uncle. It is Buonaparte 
(sic) who becomes a prisoner at Sedan (p. 351). I 
recall nothing quite so good as this, except the con- 
duct of the jacobins in calling Louis XVI* and Marie 
Antoinette Citoyen and Citoyenne Capet. 


Abenftbev, actum at, 142. 

Abercromby, Sir Balph, 49. 

Alexander L, of Buasia, tries to Induce 
Pnusaia to join the coalition, 124 ; loees 
his arm^ at Friedland, 129 ; nuikes 
peace with Napoleon, 129 ; aspires to 
" the deliverance of Europe," 198 ; in 
Paris, 220 ; decides that thejmwers will 
not treat with Niqwieon, 222 ; an un- 
fortunate decision, 222 ; a representi^ 
tive of the old order of things, 321 ; 
in alliance with France, 322; had no 
heart in the French aUiance, 322 ; his 
conquests, 322 ; attitude on the Polish 
question, 322, 323 ; to attack Nwoleon 
a question of expediency, 324 ; decides 
not to begin the war, 321; what he 
hoped to do in 1811, 324. 

Alison, Sir Archibald, 1. 

Alps, passes of, 52; Niqwleon exosses, 
into Italy, 53. 

Alvinad, general, 24. 

Amiens, peace of, broken by Bnglaod, 

Areola, bridge of, 24. 

Aspem, battie of, 143. 

Auenrtidt, battie of, 127. 

Augereau, marshal, 28. 

Austerlitz, battie of, 114-117 ; Napoleon's 
greatest battle, 115, 116 ; character of 
the French army, 115 ; blunder of the 
allies, 116 ; a dedsive success, 117. 

Austria, hi 1789, 3 ; war with France, 
21-25 ; Ni4K>le(ni*s briUiant campidgn 
agafatft, in Italy, 23-25; peace pre- 
liminaries signed at Leoboi, 25 ; treaty 
of Campo Formio, 25 ; war brraks out 
asain (1799), 38 ; aided by Bussia, 38 ; 
tforeau's able campaign against, 50, 
61; the campaign in Itafy, 51-57; 
peace concluded at Lun^viUe, 62 ; re- 
sults of the war, 99; joins E^land 
and Bussia against France, 108 ; in- 
TBdes Bavaria, 111 ; rejects peace 
offers, 112; loses the Tyrol and 
Venice, 117; opens the campaign of 
1809, 141 ; defeated at Wagram, 149 ; 
peace ooncluded at Vienna, 149 ; ally 
of France in the Bussian campaign, 
168 ; demands a price for neutralibr, 
211; joins the coalition against Na- 

poleon, 214; course in Italy, after 

Bagration, Prince, 164-167. 

Barclay de Tolly, general, 164-167. 

Bautzen, battie of, 210. 

Bavaria, refuses to join the coalition, 
111 ; the Tyrol annexed to, U7. 

Beauhamaia, Eugene, Viceroy of Italy, 
108; defeats the Austrians in the 
:IVtoL 144 ; in the retreat from Mos- 
cow, 185. 

Beauhamals, Josephine, marries Napo- 
poleom 20 ; chsuracter, 20 ; Influence 
over Napoleon, 21 ; divorce, 155. 

Beaulieu, general, 24. 

Belgium, preparations for the campaign 
in, 241 ; the allied forces, 242 ; Napo- 
leon's plans, 242, 248; crosses the 
Sambre, 248 ; movements of the allies, 
249-252 ; Saint Amand and ligny, 263, 
254 ; Quatre Bras, 255-257 ; the Prus- 
sian retreat after Ligny, 261, 262 ; Wa- 
terloo, 271-283 ; review of the cam- 
palsn, 285-292. 

Bennmgaen, general, 129. 

Beresiua, passage of the, 187-m. 

Bemadotte, marshal, 115, 127. 

Bernard, Prince, of Saxe-Weimar, 248. 

Bertrand order, the, 263, 329-337. 

Bliicher, marshal, urges the Saxons to 
revolt, 204 ; his army in Belgium de- 
feated, 242 ; at ligny, 253 ; unhorsed 
at Ligny, 265 ; retires to Wavre, 268 ; 
promises Wellington assistance, 271 ; 
Joins Wellington, 280 ; shows the real 
soldier spirit, 284. 

Bonaparte, Jerome, made King of West- 
phaUa, 130; Napoleon's letter to, 132. 

Bonaparte, Joseph, King of Naples, 136 ; 
King of Spain, 137. 

Bonaparte, Napoleon, at Brienne, 12; 
military enthusiasm, 12 ; an accurate 
student, 13 ; love of detail and exact- 
ness, 13; at Toulon. 14; appointed 
general of brigade, i5; not a harsh 
man, 16; quells insurrection of the 
Sections of Paris, 19; marriage, 20 
in command of the army of It^y, 21 
]dan of the Italian campaigns, 22, 23 
at the Bridge of Lodi, 24, 27 ; entert 
MilaD,24; defeats Wurmser^ 24: mili* 




teiy reputation, 26 ; at Areola, 27 ; idol 
of the army, 27 ; depwrture for Egypt, 
31 ; return, 41 ; hu popularity, ^ ; 
overturns the Directory, 43 ; not a 
destroyer of French liberties, 46 ; 
chosen First Consul, 47 ; reorganiza- 
tion of the government, 47; desires 
peace, 48; war resumed vdth Aus- 
tria, 49 ; his plan, 61 ; his army, 52 ; 
crosses the Alps, 63; enters Milan, 
54 ; at Marengo, 66 ; a characteristic 
campaign, 57 ; audacity, 68 ; incurred 
unnecessary hazard in Marengo cam- 
paign, 59 ; compared with Moreau, 69 ; 
La&ey's criticism, 60 ; opposed by 
jacobins and royalists, 62 ; plots 
a^dnst his life, 65 ; Georges* scheme, 
66-70 ; orders seizure of the Due 
d'l^hien, 71, 72 ; did Napoleon com- 
mit a counter-assassination? 73-87; 
kindness to Moreau, 88; share in 
formlnff the Code Napoleon, 91-94; 
domestic policy, 89-98; the Concor- 
dat, 94 ; blamed for his part in reor- 
ga^ing Germany, 100; Emperor of 
the French and King of Italy, 107; 
irojected invasion of England, 106- 
.10 ; campaign of 1806, 111 ; captures 
Ulm, 112 ; enters Vienna, 112 ; peace 
offers, 112; the Prussian envoy, 114; 
AusterUtz, 114-117; peace of Pres- 
burg, 117 ; his success a gain for 
European pn^press, 119 ; establishes 
Confederation of the Rhine, 120 ; Pro- 
tector oi the Confederation, 120 ; war 
with Prussia, 126 ; J^na, 126-128 ; con- 
quest of Prussia, 128 ; winterquarters 
at Warsaw, 129 ; Eylau, 129 ; peace of 
Tilsit, 129 ; introduces the Code into 
Westphalia, 131 ; letter to Jerome, 
133; better government the need of 
Europe, 133; desires a consolidation 
of the German states, 134 ; not justi- 
fied in dethroning the Spanish Bour- 
bons, 136 ; did not understand the 
Bpamsh people, 137 ; proper course 
toward Spain, 140 ; invasion of Spain, 
140 ; departure for Paris, 140; war 
with Austria, 141 ; enters Vienna, 142 ; 
at the ishtnd of Lobau, 143, 144 ; Wa- 
gram, 145-149 ; peace of Vienna, 149 ; 
the Buccesnon, 152-154 ; divorces Jo- 
sephine, 155 ; marriage to Maria 
Louisa, and birth of a son, 155 ; pros- 
pects of the Empire, 155 ; accepts the 
Russian challenge, 162 ; preparations 
for the campaign, 163; welcome at 
Wihia, 163 ; Smolensk, 168-170 ; Boro- 
dino, 172, 173 ; refuses to put in the 
Guard, 173 ; a tenfible mistake, 174 ; 
arrival at Moscow, 175 ; burning of 
the city, 177 ; retreat unavoidable, 
178 ; weakness shown in delaying the 
retreat, 180; discipline of the army 
impaired, 182 ; Malo^aroslawetz, 183 ; 
the retreat commenced, 184 ; terrible 
losses, 184 ; Krasnoi, 185 ; "a day of 
honor," 186 ; passage of the Beresina, 
187-191 ; arrival at Pkris, 192 ; machi- 
nations of the powers against, In 1813, 

200-202 ; prepares for the camp 
202, 208, 209 ; Spanish policy, 
207 ; Ltitzen, 210 ; Bautzen, 210 ; the 
Austrian demands, 211-214; his scat- 
tered army, 215, 216 ; regards the war 
as a game, 217 ; France mvaded, 218 ; 
fall of the Empire, 219 ; his policy 
condemned, 221 ; abdication, 222 ; ex- 
iled to Elba, 224 ; the mistake of the 
allies, 232 ; a hero in exile, 232 ; the 
return from Elba, 233; his welcome, 
234 ; enters Puris, 234 ; reception by 
his marshals, 234, 235 ; policy of peace 
and reform, 236; messages of ami^ 
to the powers, 236 ; declared against 
b^ the Congress of Vienna, 235 ; oom- 
bmatious against, 236 ; undertakes to 
meet the demands of the liberal party, 
237; proclaims a new constitution, 
237 ; attitude of the Chambers, 238, 
239; neglects to identify his cause 
with that of France, 240 ; plan for in- 
vading Belgium, 212, 248 ; his army, 
243; his officers, 243-246; refuses 
Davout permission to take the field, 
245 ; proclamation to^'the army, 247 ; 
crosses the Sambre, 248 ; Ligny, 263, 
264 ; his last victory, 255 ; neglect to 
Asoeirtain the direction of the Prussian 
retreat, 261, 262, 285 ; his careless 
confidence, 262 ; orders Grouchy to 
pursue the Prussians, 263; ought to 
have attacked Wellington at Quatre 
Bras, 265; Grouchy*s despatch, 266, 
267; the consequence of trusting 
Grouchy, 271 ; had a better army than 
his opponent at Waterloo, 271 ; delav 
in commencing the action, 272; reli- 
ance on Grouchy, 272; assault on 
Hougoumont, 273 ; tries to turn Wel- 
lington's left, 273 ; faflure, 274 ; fight- 
ing a double battle, 276 ; should have 
acted on the defensive, 280; the last 
charge of the Guard, 281 ; the flight 
of the army, 282 ; he quits the field, 
283 ; his fatal mistakes, 286, 286 ; ar- 
rival in Paris, 293; abdication, 294; 
surrenders himself to the British gov- 
ernment, 295 ; exiled to St. Helena, 295 ; 
his life there, 296 ; treatment by the 
English government, 296; his narra* 
tives of hu campaigns, 297, 298 ; death, 
298 ; burial, 299 ; erroneous view of, bv 
liberal writers, 802 ; estimate of, 304, 
305; charge of selfishness, 306; his 
character and his acts, 307 ; his occa- 
sional severities, 309 ; his hold on his 
soldiers, 310 ; anecdotes, 311-315 ; trib- 
ute from his German soldiers, 315; 
his tactics in his later campaigns 
criticised by Marmont, 326. 

Borodino, battie of, 171-173. 

Bourbon plots against Napoleon, 67-71. 

Bourbons, the, restoration of, 226 ; after 
Waterloo, 299. 

Bourtourlin, colonel, 174. 

Brunswick, Duke of, 126, 128, 247. 

Bulo\f , general, 247, 249. 

Buonaparte, on Freeman's use of tba 



Gambacirea, consul, 47. 

Campo FormiOf treaty of, 25. 

Caracdoli, admiral, executed by Nelaon, 

Chamber of Deputies, convened by Na- 
poleon, 237. 

Chambray's statistics of the war with 
Russia, 326. 

Charles, Archduke, 25 ; at Wagram, 

Charles lY. of Spam, 137. 

Chesney, C. C, quoted, 330, 332, 335-^337. 

Cisalpine Republic, 26. 

Coalition of 1805, causes of, 108. 

Code Napoleon, 46; Napoleon's share 
in forming, 91-03 ; its utility, 94 ; in- 
troduced hito the Qerman states, 120 ; 
into Westphalia, 131 ; into Naples, 134. 

Confederation of the Rhine, 120. 

Congress of Vienna, declares i^;ainst 
Napoleon, 235 ; the allied sovereigns* 
distrust of Napoleon, 236. 

Constitutional party in France^ 237, 238. 

Consulate, the, 47 ; the beginnmg of the 
Empire, 62 ]%jacobin and royalist op- 
position to, 62-65; English attacks 
on, 68 ; reforms of the Consular gov- 
ernment, 89 ; Lanfrey's criticism, 89 ; 
the Code Napoleon its most important 
measure, 91. 

Continental System, the, 151. 

Convention of Paris, 295 ; WelUngton al- 
lows it to be violated by the king, 299. 

Csartoriski, Count, 322, 323. 

Danube, passage of, 142-144. 

D'Aitois, Comte, favors Georges* 
scheme, 67. 

Davout, marshal, 115; at AuerstSdt, 
127, 128; made Duke of AuerstSdt, 
128 ; entry into Berlin, 128 ; at Smo- 
lensk, 1«>; Minister of War, 245; 
wishes to take the field, 245; Napo- 
leon refuses to permit him to serve, 
245 ; surrenders Paris, 295. 

Defeat, Waterloo a synonym for, 283. 

D'Erlon, general, 243, 244; at Quatre 
Bras, 256, 266, 335, 836. 

Desaix, general, at Marengo, 56. 

Directory, the, established, 19; coup 
d'itat of 1797, 29 ; despotic rule of, 30, 
40; unpopidarity, 39; quarrels with 
the United States, 39; a transitory 
phase of the Revolution, 89 ; its singu- 
lar position hi 1799, 39 ; composed of 
insignificant men, 40 ; existing on suf- 
ferance, 42 ; overturned by Napoleon, 

Divhie right of kings, 2. 

Eckmiihl, action at, 142. 

Elba, Napoleon*s exile to, 224 ; an un- 
wise thing, 224 ; his return from, 233. 

Egypt, expedition to, projected, 30 ; ob- 
ject, 31 ; an act of folly, 31 ; sailing of 
the expedition, 31 ; return, 49. 

Empire, the, the Consulate its begin- 
ning, 62; demanded by the people, 
96; Its meaning, 98; its aggrandize- 
ment a cause of alarm, 15(S, 157 ; its 

extension a result of the defeat of the 
coalitions, 236 ; effect of its fall, 241. 

England, assists French royalists, 64; 
supports Bourbou schemes against Na- 
poleon's life, 68-71 ; breaks the peace 
of Amiens, 108 ; Napoleon's projected 
invasion of, 108-110 ; hi alliance with 
Russia, 108 ; continues the war after 
peace of Prosburg, 121; motives in 
opposing Napoleon, 121 ; effect of the 
continental wars on, 151 ; uninter- 
mitted hostility to France, 207 ; Napo- 
leon's mistake, 207 ; part in the Wa- 
terloo campaign, 241 ; Napoleon sur- 
renders to the British government, 
295; treatment of Napideon at St. 
Helena, 296. 

En^hien, Due d', suspected of compli- 
city in the i^ot against Nwoleon, 69 ; 
arrest at JBttenheim in Baden, 72; 
trial and execution, 72 ; charges 
agamst Napoleon, 72 ; the arrest justi- 
fiable, 74; proceiedings of the court- 
martial, 75-77; who composed the 
court, 75 ; the official records stolen, 
75; the duke*s avowals, 76, 77; the 
court had no chdoe but to condemn 
him, 77 ; whv was he tried? 78 ; the 
evidence in his papers, 78-84 ; Napo- 
leon examines thCTo, 80; auestions 
based on their contents, 80; their 
contents, 81 ; Count Miot de Melito's 
statement, 82; the duke desires an 
interview with the First Consul, 83; 
his hurried trial and execution, 84; 
the Urst Consul astounded, 85 ; who 
was responsible, 86. 

Esslmg, battle of, 143. 

Europe, prior to the French Revolution, 
2-6; ruled in the interest of privi- 
leged classes, 2 ; improvement in the 
condition of the people, 5; govern- 
ment by the people impracticable, 5 ; 
the need of, 5 ; nature of the contest 
in, 32; shown by the Revolution of 
Naples, 34 ; benefited by war of 1805, 
119; condition hi 1809, 150; griev- 
ances against Napoleon in 1813, 199- 
207 ; after Waterloo, 299-302. 

Eylau, battle of, 129. 

Ferdinand TV., of Naples, declares war 
agamst France, 33; is defeated, 34: 
breach of faith toward France, 135 j 
banishment, 135. 

Finland, annexed to Russia, 322. 

Fleurus, action at, 252. 

France, before the Revolution, 4 ; dur- 
ing the Revolution, 7-11 ; volunteer 
and regular army of, 12 ; the 9th of 
Thermidor, 1794, 18 ; change in pub- 
lic opinion, 18; constitution of 1795, 
19; provisions ensuring republican 
rule, 19 ; rising of the Sections, 1795, 
19 ; war with Austria, 21-25 ; the 18th 
of Fructidor, 1797, 30; a deliverer 
from Middle Age barbarism, 33 ; on 
the side of prf^nress, 34; French re* 
verses, 38; the 18th of Brumair«i 
1799, 43 ; work of the Revolution, 44, 



dttBgor of ili6 lotufii Of iho BowboiUf 
45 ; the coup d'itai luOled with joy, 
46 ; the three Consuls, 47 ; war with 
Austria resumed, 49; French peas- 
ants' rmrd for the republic, 63 ; in a 
state of administrative disorder, 90; 
work of the Consulate, 90 ; the Code 
Napoleon, 91 ; the Concordat, 94 ; the 
Empire established, 96 ; peace of Lu- 
n^ville, 99; territorial acquisitions, 
99; influence in reorganizing Ger- 
many, 99, 100; the coalition of 1805, 
108 ; cause of the coalition, 108 ; Ger- 
man allies. 111; peace of Presburg, 
117, 121 ; war with Prussia, 126 ; peace 
of Vienna, 148 ; war with Russia im- 
pending, 158 ; peace negotiations, 160 ; 
expected to act on the defensive in 
the Russian campaign, 162; fall of 
the Empire, 219; the allied army in 
Fftria, 220; weary of Napoleon, 220; 
his policy condemned, 221; restora- 
tion of the Bourbons, 224 ; a doubtful 
future, 225; Louis XVni., 225; a 
dissatisfied people, 226, 227; the re- 
turned emigrants, 228, 229; difficul- 
ties of the new Idngdom, 290 ; . 
grounds for discontent, 231; Nano- 
leon*8 return. 233 ; a comidete revolu- 
tion, 2%; right to choose her own 
form of govemmant, 23G ; prepares to 
maintain the right, 237, 239; public 
enthusiasm, 238; the constitutional 
party, 238 ; the need of Fraase, 210; 
after Witarloo, 293 ; Napoleon's abdi- 
cation, 291 ; a provisionid government 
established, 294 ; but does not obtain 
recognition, 294; the convention of 
Paris, 295 ; Louis XVUL resumes the 
throne, 295; vindictive action of the 
Bourbons, 299; the convention vio- 
Uted bv the king, 299-301. 
Francis I., of Austria, unsatisfactory 
answer to Napoleon's peace overtures, 

Frisnas, 248 

Freainia, B. A, criticism on his use of 

the na^ne ** Buonaparte," 338. 
Frensh Revolution : see RevoluHon. 
Frislland, battle of, 129. 
Fy f 3's " Modem Europe " quoted, 101, 


Genoa, Massfaa besieged in, 51. 

Gsorge III., of England, reply to Napo- 
leon's peace overtures, 48. 

Georges Cadoudal's scheme to murder 
the First Consul, 66 ; the conspirators 
aided by the Bourbon princes, 68 ; 
and by the British government, 63 ; 
arrest of the conspirators, 68 ; execu- 
tion, 88. 

Gerard, general, 243, 270. 

Germany, Moreau's campaign in, 60, 51 ; 
French influence in reorganizing, 99, 
100, 102; Rhenish provinces annexed 
to France, 99 ; a popular measure, 
108 ; the wisdom of the measure, 
107 ; campai^ of 1805 in. Ill ; state 
of western Germany in 1815, 241 ; 

Waterioo a cheek to Uberal idSM in, 


Great man theory of history, 320, 321. 

Great St. Bernard pass, 52. 

Grouchy, marshal, 244 ; ordered to par^ 
sue the Prussians after Ligny, 263 ; at 
Gembloux, 266 ; despatch to Napoleon, 
266, 267; learns that the Prussians 

. are at Wavrc, 268 ; proposes going to 
Sart k Walhaim, 268 ; his true course, 
268, 269 ; delay in starting, 269 ; re- 
fuses to march to the sound of the 
cannon, 269 ; his useless march, 270 ; 
Napoleon's reliance on, 272; re^Mm- 
siUUty for his own conduct, 286; 
Soult's despatches to, 287-291 ; did not 
influence his movements, 289 ; learns 
of the Emperor's defeat, 292; yAam 
the wreck of the mun army, 292 ; con- 
troversy on Grouchy's responsibility 
for the loss of Waterloo, 329-337. 

Hamilton, Lady, 36, 37. 
Hamilton, Sbr William, 36. 
Haugwitz, Prussian envoj^l24. 
Hill, Lord, 247. 
Hohenlinden, battie of, 51. 
Hohenlohe, Prince, 126, 128. 
Holy Alliance, the, 301. 
Houfloumont, Wellington's position at, 

272 ; attack on, 273. 
House of Peers, convened by Napoleon, 

Hulin, brigadier-general, 75. 

Itahr, prior to the French Revolution, 4 ; 
Napoleon's campaigns in, 22-25 ; what 
the advent of tiie French meant to, 
25 ; campaign of the First Consol, 51 ; 
the Austrian situation in, 55 ; becomes 
a kingdom, 107 ; Venice annexed to, 
117 ; state of, in 1815, 241. 

Jacobin opposition to Napoleon, G2. 

Jaffa, execution of prisoners at, 300. 

J^na, battie of, 127, 128. 

John, Archduke, 51, 145. 

Jomini, general, 187. 

Junot's maction at Valoatina, 169. 

Knights of the Empire, 101. 

Kdidgsberg, fall of, 129. 

Kontousof, Prince, 171; at Borodino. 
173 ; his mistake as to the crossing of 
the Beredna, 187 ; proclaims the " de- 
liverance of Europe," 198 ; and the dis- 
solution of the Confederation of the 
Rhine, 204. 

Krasnoi, Napoleon's conduct at, 185. 

Kray. marshal, 49, 50. 

Lafayette, a leader of the constitutional 
party, 238. 

La Haye Sainte, Wellington's position 
at, 272 ; French repulse at, 274 ; cap- 
ture of, by Npy, 278. 

Lanfrey, 1, 62, 89, 90, 97, 96. 

Lannea, marshal, 28; defeats the Ana- 
trians at Montebello, 54; at Maiengo, 
66; at Austerlits, llfk 



Lebrun, consul, 47. 

Legitimacy, the cause of Europe in 1813, 

Leipaic, battle of, 215. 

Leoben, 25. 

Liberal ideas, France stands for, 34. 

Ligny, battle of, 253, 254; a decided 
success for Napoleon, 285. 

Lobau, Coimt de, -243 ; attacked at 
Planchenoit, 279; defeated, 2S3. 

Lobau, island of, 142-144. 

Lodi, bridge of, 24. 

Losses in the Russian campaign, 193, 
194, S2&-329. 

Louis XVIII., on the throne of France, 
225 ; efEorts to satisfy the people, 226 ; 
hostility of the army to, 227 ; unwise 
measures of, 228, 2!^ ; retires to Bel- 
gium, 235 ; resumes the throne, 296. 

Lun^ville, peace of, 62, 99. 

LUtsen, batUe of, 210. 

Macdonald, marshal, 196-198. 

Mack, general, surrenders Ulm, 112. 

JOalo^aroslawetz, action at, 183. 

Marengo, battle of, 56; moral effect, 
57; diumatic character of the cam- 
paign, 57 ; its completeness of design, 
57; it8audacitv,58. 

Maria Louisa, of Austria, marriage to 
Napoleon, 155. 

Marmont, marshal, criticism on Napo- 
leon's tactics in his later campaigns, 

Masa^na, marshal, S£8 ; defeats Souvorof 
near Lake of Zurich, 38 ; besieged in 
C^enoa, 53; at the island of Lobau, 
143, 144; created Prince of Esaling, 
144 ; at Wagram, 146-148. 

M^las, general, 49, 52-56. 

Melito, Count Miot de, 82. 

Mettemich, Prince, 211. 

** Midnight Review, The," by Yon Zed- 
litz, 317. 

Militfury despotism, the best goremment 
in time of war, SS7. 

Moldavia, annexed to Russia, 322. 

Mollendorf, general, 126, 128. 

Mont Genis pass, 52. 

Mont St. Qothard pass, 52. 

Montebello, battle of, 54. 

Moore, Sir John, 140. 

Moravia, 112, 113. 

Moreau, general, commands Army of 
the Rhine, 49 ; able campaign in Ger- 
many, 50, 61 ; routs Archduke John 
at Hohenlinden, 51 ; character and 
abilities, 51 ; exile, 51, 88; and death, 
51 ; compared with Napoleon, 59 ; 
kindness of Napoleon to, 88. 

Moscow, Napoleon* 8 arrival at, 175, 176 ; 
condition of the army, 176 ; abandoned 
by the inhabitants, 177 ; burning of, 
177; an appalling catastrophe, 177; 
reasons for the retreat, 177, 178 ; Na- 
poleon^s delay, 178-181 ; activity of 
the Russians, 181 ; lack of discipUne 
in the French army, 182 ; the retreat, 

MiUIer, Niklas, his eulogium on Napo- 
leon's military character, 315. 

Murat, marshal, responsibilitv in Duo 
d'Enghien's case, 85; at Austerlitz, 

Naples, misgoverned by the Bourbons, 
33 ; French sympathizers in, 33 ; Brit- 
ish aid to the court party, 33; the 
French army welcomed by the better 
classes, 34 ; abandoned by the French, 
36 ; Nelson sets aside the capitulation, 
36 ; remonstrances of the English cap- 
tains, 37; Bourbon breach of faith, 
135; the Bourbons banished, 135; 
Joseph Bonaparte made king, 136 ; el- 
fect of his rule, 136. 

National Convention, 18. 

Nelson, Lord, at Naples, 36, 37. 

Ney, marshal, at Borodino, 172; joins 
the army in Belgium, 244 ; at Frasues, 
248 ; ordered to occupy Quatre Bras, 
252; battle of Quatre Bras, 255-257; 
why he did not occupy Quatre Bras, 
256-258; captures La Have Samte, 
278 ; trial and execution, 299 ; on his 
employment of the cavalry of tli« 
Guard at Waterloo, 338. 

Nile, battle of the, 38. 

Orange, Prince of, 247. 

Orcha, 186. 

Ott, general, 55. 

Oudinot, general, 182, 187, 188, 190. 

Paris, surrender of, 219 ; Davout charged 
with its defence, 245: situation in, 
after the battle of Waterloo, 293; 
surrendered by Davout, 295. 

Parthenopeean Republic, 36. 

Pieton, Sir Thomas, 247 ; death, 274. 

Piedmont annexed to France, 99. 

Pitt, William, and the coalition of 1806, 

Planchenoit, action at, 279. 

Polish question and the Ruaaian war, 

Political theoristo, 104. 

Presburg, peace of, 117. 

Privileged classes in Europe, 2. 

Prussia, in 1789, 8; the campaign of 
1805, 113, 123, 124; reasons for not 
joining the condition, 123; alliance 
with Russia, 124 ; hostile feeling to- 
ward France, 124, 125; position 
among the nations, 125 ; declares war, 
126; suffers defeat -at J^na, 128 ; con- 
quest of, 128 ; territorial chuiges, 130 ; 
allv of France in the Russian cam- 
paign, 163 ; hopes to profit by French 
disasters, 195; grievances i^nst 
France, 199; duplicity, 203; war 
preparations, 203 ; takes part in cam- 
paign of 1815, 241. 

Quatre Bras, Wellington concentrates 
his troops at, 251 ; Ney*s attack on, 
2.55-267 ; a staff ofBcer's blunder, 256- 
260; battle of, not a French defeat 
267 ; effect of the fight, 258. 



R^al, oonndnor, 80, 81, 84, 86. 

Reign of Terrort 8, 18. 

Reille, geueral, 243, 244. 

Revolution, French, Europe prior to. 2- 
6 ; based on the r^hts of maa,7 ; des- 
potism in, 7; an anomaly, 8; itsne- 
ceasity, 8; did not give the people 
political power, 9; their gahi in Ub- 
erty and equality, 9 ; not a roae-water 
revolution, 9 ; losaoa of the privileged 
claaaes by, 10 ; their hostility, 10 ; be- 
ginning of a new order, 10 ; "an irre- 
pressible conflict," 11 ; work of, 44. 

RivoU, action of, 2B. 

Robespierre, 15 ; downfall, 18. 

Roman Catholic Church in France, 94- 

Rostopchin, Count, governor of Moa> 
cow, 177. 

Royalist oppositiom to Napoleon, 62, G4, 

Ruffo, Cardinal, 36. 

Russia, prior to the French Revolution, 
3; aids Austria in 1799, 38 ; joins Eng- 
land against France, 108; seeks a 
pretext for war (1810), 159 ; prepara- 
tions, 159; Napoleon welcomed at 
Wilna, 163 ; the Russian armies, 164 ; 
military manoeuvres, 165-168; Smo- 
lensk, 166 ; Borodino, 171-173 ; burn- 
ing of Moscow, 177 ; Napoleon's re- 
treat from Moscow, 183-193; end of 
the campaign, 193 ; losses in the cam- 
paign, 193, 196 ; Koutousof 's procla- 
mation, 196 ; Polish question and the 
Russian war, 321-^24. 

Baint Amand, action at, 263, 264. 

St Helena, Napoleon*s exile to, 295 ; his 
life there, 296. 

Sardinia absorbed by Austria, 51 

Sart it Walhain, Grouchy's useless march 
to, 269, 270, 332. 

Sava^, colonel, commanding at castle 
of y hicennes, 75 ; report of Due d*En- 
ghien's reply to the court, 76, 77 ; not 
responsible for the prompt execution 
of d*Enghien, 86. 

Schmettau, general, 128. 

Schwartzenberg, Prince, 181, 196. 

Scott, Sir Walter, 1; "Life of Napo- 
leon " cited, 69. 

Sections of Paris insurrection put down 
by Bonaparte, 19, 29. 

Shaw-Kennedy, Sir James, on Orouchy*s 
responsibili^ for loss of Waterloo, 

Smith, Spencer, faitrigues of, 71. 

Smolensk, 168, 169, 184. 

Soult, marshal, 114, 115 ; chief of staff in 
Waterloo campaign, 246, 261. 

Souvorof, general, in Italy, 38 ; defeated 
by Mass^na, 38. 

Spain, backwardness of, 5 ; under Bour- 
bon rule, 134; Napoleon's treatment 
of tlie Spanish Bourbons, 135; his 
mistaken view of the people, 136 ; his 
reforms not welcom^, 137; the pa- 
triotic fe«>l!ng in, 138; Joseph Bona- 
purte*s ill-success in governing, 138; 

the new system r^Jectad, 130; in- 
vaded by Napoleon, 140 ; history since 
1814, 139 ; the Spanish war, 206, 207. 

Spencer, Herbert, the " Oreat-Man-Tbe- 
ory of Histonr.*' 309-311. 

Stein, Baron, 101. 

Tchitchagoff, admiral, 181, 187, 188, 

Thiers, L. A., 1. 
Tilsit, Peace of, 129, 130. 
Toulon, si^;e of, 14. 
Trafalgar, battle of, 110. 
"Two Grenadiers, The," Inr Heine, 316. 
Tyrol, ceded to Bavaria, 117. 

Ulm, capture of. 111, 112. 

United States, the Directory qoarrels 

with, 39. 
Uxbridge, Lord, 247. 

Yandamme, general, 243 ; and the cap- 
tain, 312-314. 

Venice, ceded to Kingdom of Italy, 

Victor, marshal, at Marenffo, 66 ; in the 
retreat from Moscow, 188, 190. 

'^enna. Congress of, declares against 
Napoleon, W, 

Wagnun, botUe of, 145-148. 
Waflachia, annexed to Russia, 322. 
War, a game of hazard, 60. 
War, causes for, in 1810, 166-166. 
Warsaw, Grand Duchv of, created, 130 ; 
evacuated hy the French, 198 ; occo- 

Sied l^ the Russians, 198 ; the Russian 
esigns on, in 1810-11, 3S2, 323. 

Wartendeben, general, 128. 

Waterloo, battle of, 271 ; the two armies, 
271 ; WelUngton^s position, 272; Na- 
pole<xi's delay in commencing the 
action, 272; attack on Hougoumont, 
273 ; the attack a failure, 274 ; French 
repulse at La Haye Sainto, 274; ap- 
proadi of the PruaiBians, 275 ; a double 
battle, 275 ; failure of the cavalry at- 
tacks, 275 ; losses of the English, 277 ; 
capture of La Haye Salute, 278; ar^ 
rival of the Prussians, 280 ; the French 
outnumbered, 280; Napcdeon should 
have taken the defensive, 280; the 
Guard attacks the English right cen- 
tre, 281; and is driven back, 282; 
Wellington's advance, 282 ; rout of 
the French army, 283 ; Napole<xi quits 
the field, 283 ; a synonym for utter de- 
feat, 283 ; discussion of the camraigu, 

Wavre, BlUcher retires to, 268; Groa- 
chy's march on, 269, 270,329-337. 

Wellington, Duke of, in Spain, 206 ; hia 
army in Belgium, 242, 247; his offi- 
cers, 247; at the DucSiess of Rich- 
mond's ball, 250; his idea of Napo- 
leon's movements, 250 ; favored by 
fortune, 251 ; concentrates his troops 
at Quatre Bras, 251 ; saved ^a Uun- 
der, 259 ; agrees to fight at Waterloo, 
266 ; his army, 271 ; asristance prom- 



iaed by Blttcher, 271 ; aotB on the de- 
f eoiaiTe, 272 ; his poaitioii, 272 ; Na- 
poleon tries to turn his left, 273 ; his 
critical situation, 277 ; loses La Haye 
Sainte, 278 ; reinforced by Bliicher, 
280 ; forces the Gaard to retire, 281 ; 
orders his whole line to advance, 282 ; 

Suts the French to rout, 282 ; honor 
ue to, 284 ; allows the convention of 
Paris to be violated, 299-901 ; and Ney 
to be shot, 299 ; comparison of his con- 
duct with that of General Grant, 299. 
V^estphalia, Kingdom of, created, 130 ; 
its constitution, 131. 


" Who Lost Waterloo ? »» 329. 

Wihia, 163-167, 191-193. 

Wilson, Sir Robert, quoted, 186, 188, 

Wittgenstem, Count, 181, 187, 204. 

Wurmser, general, 24. 

Wurtemberg, ally of France in 1806, 

Yorck, Pruflsaan general, surrender of, 
196 ; an indefensible transaction, 19(&- 

Ziethen, Pmasian general, 248, 248. 



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